Age, Home and Community Monitoring Advisory Group minutes: June 2019

Minutes of the meeting of the Age, Home and Community Monitoring Advisory Group held in June 2019.

Attendees and apologies

  • Moira Bayne, Housing Options Scotland
  • Diana Findley, SOPA
  • Steve Byrne, Regional Tenant Organisation representative
  • Paul Short, Fife Council
  • Robert Thomson, Care and Repair Scotland
  • Jim Eadie, Age Scotland
  • Kathy Cameron, COSLA
  • Dafni Dimna, Scottish Government
  • Anne-Marie Thomson, Scottish Government
  • Anne Grove, Scottish Government
  • David Fotheringham, Scottish Government
  • Nicole Ronald, Scottish Government
  • Angela O’Brien, Scottish Government (Chair)
  • Margaret Irving, Scottish Government (Minutes)


  • Zhan McIntyre, SFHA
  • Julia Fitzpatrick, Horizon Housing Association
  • Helen Murdoch, Hanover (Scotland) Housing Association
  • Ruth Robin, Ihub
  • Sarah Newton, Scottish Government
  • Steven Tolson, RICS
  • Paul Traynor, Carers Scotland
  • Scott Lafferty, Carers Scotland
  • Rohini Joshi, Trust Housing
  • Karen Mechan, Scottish Government 

Items and actions

1. Welcome, introductions and apologies

Angela noted that Jim Eadie and Julia Fitzpatrick were standing down from the group. She thanked for both for their time and excellent contributions to the group. As Jim is moving on from Age Scotland, she also took the opportunity to thank him for chairing the intergenerational and co-living working group.

We also have some new members for the group who are unable to attend today and will hopefully be introduced at the next meeting. 

There were no other additional items for the Agenda.

2. Minutes of last meeting 5 December 2018

The group were asked if there were any amendments. No changes were noted and the minutes will be added to the Scottish Government web pages.

3. How is Scotland’s population changing?

Dafni Dima gave a presentation highlighting the increasing older population and the impact that has on housing and support needs. While male and female life expectancy is catching up there is still a higher number of older women.  Overall there is a large increase in single person households which has an impact on support needs, especially older women.

Points raised following the presentation included:

  • The impact of Brexit on an ageing population.
  • As most older people own their own homes, how do we support this group?
  • People generally want the choice of 2 bed properties rather than one bed.
  • What about the impact on younger people.
  • Lack of suitable properties forces people into private rented sector which is more costly but there is greater regulation now.
  • However if owners sell and move into PRS, it gives them time to test or choose the area and house they want.

Action: Send out copy of presentation and information on younger people and housing tenure.

4. Housing and Dementia - Ruth Robin

Unfortunately Ruth was unable to attend but an update on the iHub’s dementia work will be sent out at a later date.

5. Age, Home and Community –The Next Phase Action Plan

The group discussed the progress of the actions. Key points discussed:

  • The Age Scotland publications, Housing through the Lens of Ageing and the Orkney survey of housing needs of older people, are almost ready for publication and a link will be sent to members.
  • Council LHS have to fit with other plans, e.g. housing development is determined by how quickly schools and other infrastructure is built.
  • There is a SG infrastructure fund and can be used if a development needs a new access road to unlock a site.
  • The Royal College of Occupational Therapists have just launched a practical guide to move away from minor/major to simple/complex adaptations with a view to freeing up resources. This is UK wide and includes work at macro as well as local level. It stressed the importance of having a conversation about housing in general and not just adaptations.
  • Further SG guidance on adaptations will be available later this year.
  • There are still issues with the availability of broadband and other digital infrastructure to access TEC. The SG Digital Strategy is looking at how this can be improved.  In Dumfries and Galloway there are areas where there is no mobile phone signal but they are looking at the “internet of things” and bringing in mobile Wi-Fi. A local development trust is taking this idea forward. It was suggested that digital colleagues could come along to a future meeting to talk about supporting their work with Care and Repair and Blackwood Clever Clogs.

Action – check with digital colleagues and provide information to the group.

We will continue with the actions as set out in the action plan but at future meetings we can consider if these are still relevant and appropriate or if we need to change the actions to make them more reflective of the current situation.

6. Intergenerational subgroup

The group, chaired by Jim Eadie, have now had 3 meetings and have carried out a huge amount of work. Officials are now working on a report to summarise the group’s recommendations for Ministers. Discussions covered homeshare, flexibility for cohousing, mid-market rent for older people, shared space, open spaces, digital connectivity and an innovation fund.

Homes for Scotland provided some very useful case studies which showed private sector is beginning to open up to new housing ideas for older people.

Other comments included the need for legal and financial co-ownership not just older people but also for families and the law society are consulting on this at the moment.

Edinburgh University received funding to look at custom building and an overview of their findings will be published at the end of the year.

More homes self-build precluded existing home owners but terms have been changed and now they do not have to sell in order to build a new home.

The recommendations report will go the working group for clearance and then to Ministers. The information will be made available to the group once the report has been sent to Ministers.

7. Updates

Health and Social Care – David Fotheringham

The AHC group contributed to the reform of adult social care at an extraordinary meeting last year.  Jeanne Freeman formally launched the programme at the Scottish Work Scotland Conference on 12 June. It has a very wide ranging agenda: social care to be more valued, paying for social care, the need to be consistent whilst respecting diversity.

Free personal care – Frank’s Law has been in place since 1 April 2019 and recently issued monitoring forms to local authorities to record the numbers benefiting from this law.

Allowances to residential care have been uprated but there is also a government commitment to redress abuse while in care but in advance payment for people over 70 years old. If they hadn’t amended this, income could be taken into account when assessing care costs. This is to be in place by the end of June.

Action - provide further information.

EU exit – various eventualities are being prepared for and we are working with Scottish Care to find out what the concerns are. CCPS and Scottish Care are looking at clinical consumables and supply so more information on what people are using and the wider key services. They are speaking to chief officers to see how the sector is doing so we can keep track if there is a no deal.

Age Scotland – Jim Eadie

Research produced 1000 responses from older people in Orkney and should be published soon. AS have published “Your choice of housing in later life” and “Older homeowners guide”.  AS have sent these out through organisations like HOS and plan to get Citizens Advice to provide them to clients.

Planning Bill now has specific recognition of needs of older and disabled people. AS have also contributed to the older people’s framework group, Housing to 2040, and fuel poverty consultation

Action – send out link to older people’s framework and documents from Age Scotland.

General Housing Update – Angela O’Brien

The group’s input to Housing to 2040 (Housing beyond 2021 at the time) was much appreciated and a report on the consultation responses is now available online. Work is currently underway to develop the Housing to 2040 strategy taking account of the consultation responses. There will be further consultations later this year and we hope once again to have someone from the 2040 team to gather views of the advisory group. 

Following Grenfell fire safety guidance relevant to sheltered housing and very sheltered housing is being developed. It is likely to be published later this year. SFHA and others have provided housing views.

The group noted the need to consider owner occupiers and wondered how can guidance be developed so that it is person centred and address the needs of vulnerable people e.g. those living with dementia. 

8. Any other business

Diana said she had been contacted about a research project looking at rural technology enabled care and thought members may be interested. 

Action – send paper to group.

9. Date of next meeting

Next meeting takes place in December 2019 

Housing and Independent Living

June 2019



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