When we first published Age Home and Community in 2011, we recognised that what we did today would influence our housing choices now and in the future. This remains just as relevant today as it did in 2011.
A housing system that works for older people supports our aim of creating a fairer Scotland, and its importance across the range of policy areas that affect older people continues to be recognised in this strategy refresh. We know that most older people want to remain in their home as they age, and that this can have significant benefits for their well-being, as well as the service they receive from the wider health and social care system.
A lot has happened since 2011. We have improved people’s ability to live independently in their own home, through the work of the Adaptations Working Group, and we have supported digital technology driven housing support where appropriate, including telecare and telehealth. We continue to deliver flexibility in new affordable supply with 91% of houses built by housing associations and councils in 2016-17 meeting Housing for Varying needs standards and by introducing shared equity for older people, through access to our Shared Equity schemes. As part of our aim to provide greater help for people living with dementia, we have also supported the development of a dementia and housing design guide.
But we know that there is still work to do. The purpose of this refresh is to build on the progress we have made so far, informed by the mid-point review published in October 2017. We must ensure that we continue to take effective action so that older people in Scotland enjoy full and positive lives in homes that meet their needs.
We all have a role in achieving the aims set out in this strategy, and we value the connections that organisations have with older people and their families. Shaping the future of housing for older people is a responsibility for all of us.
We should all be thinking about where, and how, we will live as we grow older, what our future housing requirements may be and encouraging others to do the same.
Finally, thank you to the members of the monitoring and advisory group who have contributed their time and expertise to develop this refreshed strategy.
Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning
Councillor Elena Whitham
Interim Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing COSLA
“Housing Options Scotland very much welcomes the revised strategy. Our clients achieve much better housing outcomes when partners work together strategically and creatively.
We particularly appreciate the emphasis on information, advice and thinking ahead. The strategy is a great example of what can be achieved collectively and will have a positive impact on the lives of older people now and in the future.
Housing Options Scotland
“Housing is far more than a roof over our heads; it is an integral part of everyone’s life and has an impact on your health and well-being.”
Scottish Older People’s Assembly
“Age Scotland welcomes the strong recognition which this refreshed strategy provides of the housing needs of older people and the clear determination to ensure that these needs are at the heart of government policy and local planning decisions.”