Older People's Housing Advisory Group minutes: December 2016

Minutes of the Older People's Housing Strategy Monitoring and Advisory Group on 14 December 2016

Attendees and apologies

  • Moira Bayne, Housing Options Scotland
  • Margaret Moore, ihub
  • Julia Fitzpatrick, Horizon Housing Association
  • John Wood, COSLA
  • Lynn Leitch, Fife Council
  • Greig Henderson, Fife Council
  • Jim McEwan, West Lothian Council
  • Marian Reid, CIH
  • Heather Noller, Carers Trust
  • Derek Young, Age Scotland
  • Keith Geddes, McCarthy & Stone
  • Ronald Ritchie, Tenant Representative
  • Helen Murdoch, Hanover (Scotland) Housing Association
  • Hannah Davidson, Scottish Government
  • Angela O’Brien, Scottish Government (Chair)
  • Margaret Irving, Scottish Government (Minutes)


  • Anne Grove - SG
  • Glenda Watt - SOPA
  • Robert Thomson - Care and Repair Scotland
  • Ian Glover - SG
  • Anne-Marie Thomson - SG
  • Zhan McIntyre - SFHA
  • Jeremy Hewer-SFHA
  • Eilidh Smith- SG
  • Fiona Taylor – West Lothian Council
  • Rhona McLeod – Trust Housing
  • Amanda Britain – ihub

Items and actions

1. Welcome, introductions and apologies

Apologies were received from:

Anne Grove - SG, Glenda Watt - SOPA, Robert Thomson - Care and Repair Scotland, Ian Glover - SG, Anne-Marie Thomson - SG, Zhan McIntyre - SFHA, Jeremy Hewer-SFHA, Eilidh Smith- SG, Fiona Taylor – West Lothian Council, Rhona McLeod – Trust Housing, Amanda Britain – ihub.

Angela welcomed new members to the group and asked everyone to introduce themselves. There were no additional items identified for the Agenda.

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting

The minutes of the last meeting on 23 June 2015 were agreed and will be published on the Scottish Government website.

3. Monitoring Report Presentation

Hannah Davidson presented the 2016 Summary Report on Data and Indicators. This covered national and local level monitoring. A copy of the updated report is attached.

Following the presentation, members raised a number of points.

Following the presentation, members raised a number of points.

  • Ronald noted that during a recent meeting with regional tenants groups, the Housing Minister said that he did not plan to increase the adaptations budget.
  • Greig said that it would be helpful to have consistency on how fuel poverty was measured. Angela said that the rural fuel poverty taskforce and the main fuel poverty taskforce have made recommendations in their reports about definitions.
  • Moira felt that there is a need for a housing options approach which encourages people to move to a different house if the adaptation is no longer needed. We need to try to be more creative when funding adaptations.
  • Helen said that as a result of the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH), houses will have to be brought up to a higher standard. Hanover is putting in biomass fuel production which is saving 40% on fuel costs.
  • Julia asked if there would be more on isolation and loneliness as there was limited indicators on this at present. There will be more as the monitoring report will be refreshed to take account of new actions in the strategy resulting from the manifesto commitment on loneliness.
  • Keith asked if there were figures on the number of houses being built each year i.e. private, local authority etc. as he noticed a drop in sheltered housing provision in LAs. Angela said SG does report on numbers of houses being built and various data sources for this are published. Hannah will pass on details to Keith on Housing Need and Demand Assessment (HNDA).
  • Keith was interested in the demographics of older people by LA area and wondered how that related to the numbers living with poor health.
  • Age Scotland hope to play a part in how we measure levels of loneliness and the impact that housing can have on loneliness.
  • Derek also noted preventative spend on adaptations and that Health and Social Care Integration does not seem to capture the preventative spend and recycling adaptations. We need to capture and measure this to allow budgets to be used wisely
  • Marian noted that health care costs were pretty constant but would expect this to go up as the impact of the living wage takes effect. She mentioned that CIH did some work on crime and how its perception links to loneliness and isolation and how they all inter- relate.
  • Jim noted that West Lothian was expected to have the biggest increase in older people and this was an overspill from Edinburgh.
  • Angela said that if people can be encouraged to think about their housing options when they are in a position to do so and not when there is a crisis situation, then they are more likely to make a positive choice about their long-term housing situation. Many older people say they would consider moving. They want homes which are more manageable but not necessarily much smaller and which are in the same area. In general private builders are not currently reacting to this but the planning consultation next year should hopefully pick this issue up.

Angela thanked Hannah on behalf of the group for a very helpful and detailed presentation.

4. Age, Home and Community – 5 Year Review


  • Angela thanked the group for all of their comments and case studies so far. Although the Strategy document cannot include every case study we plan to include a link within the report to a wider range of case studies.
  • Margaret M said she would like to see some more about housing and dementia. She is working with CIH on a report which should be finished in January. This work has also resulted in a number of case studies. Marian said they would be happy to discuss separately.
  • Helen supported the comment about including more on dementia and housing. She also said that under Right Advice, there should be more on the best ways to engage with people and how to present the information. Helen noted that standard housing design briefs can support good practice. Angela mentioned a recent Scottish Housing Network meeting where a number of LAs noted that they were working on design briefs to support Strategic Housing Investment Plans (SHIP).
  • Julia said that under right home it is important to understand or explain more about “engage with older people” as this is very broad. Need to be more specific eg consulting on planning and design etc.
  • Jim commented that some developers could be naive about accessible design and more could be done on this. Helen thought that there should be best practice on design. The group felt that this should reflect refurbishing existing stock as well as new build.
  • Derek said he liked the pictogram about loneliness and Age UK now has an updated version of this He also mentioned that as of the end of November Silverline Scotland has been replaced by the Age Scotland advice line. Derek will send on details of both.
  • Julia said it would be helpful to strengthen the role of community and environment in home and support.
  • Increase the supply of more homes suitable for older people. Margaret M said that a low % of new homes are built specifically for older people and most older people continue to live in mainstream housing. Jim said that in West Lothian there was a target of 10% wheelchair accessible housing but it was competing with demand for general needs housing. Julia – we must make better use of investment in existing housing to help support older people to continue to live within their community. A general needs house can support a person with dementia by putting in better lighting etc.
  • Keith said that research showed that every move into a purpose built retirement property can lead to at least 6 moves. 62% of those over 65 in the private sector want to remain in the private sector. He asked if there had been progress on Help to Buy for older people which was a manifesto commitment. Angela said that work was underway to look at how it could be achieved, possibly within the existing Help to Buy scheme.
  • Julia asked about Housing Health Checks which was another manifesto commitment. Marian said that she has been discussing this with Anne Cook in SG and they were planning a meeting with stakeholders in the New Year. Marian will look at who is involved in the meeting. Julia said that housing health checks were already happening in some RSLs.
  • Moira reminded the group that most people live in the private sector. Angela said that organisations like Care and Repair were well placed to be the link with older people in the private sector. In Ayrshire local Care and Repair services are working on a digital inclusion project which is funded by SG digital colleagues. The project will look at basic issues such as does the older person have internet connection and the use of telecare. Angela to ask Robert Thomson for information to share with the group.
  • Jim asked if there was reference to dementia in the statistics as he was aware many of those with dementia on the delayed discharge list did not go back home but usually ended up in care homes.
  • Helen –most work on delayed discharge will be at locality level within IJB. There needs to be more creative work on delayed discharge. Helen to provide case studies.
  • Trust Housing are working with Glasgow LA on delayed discharge. Housing strategies mention localities when referring to creative work on delayed discharges. Margaret M commented on the importance of housing in delivering these services.
  • Hannah asked the group to get in touch if they had any further comments on the outcomes models which were included in the review.
  • John said that previous minutes referred to the strategy being discussed at the COSLA board. He said the next meeting of COSLA was March 2017. Angela said we will come back to John after our meeting with Mr Stewart next week.
  • He also mentioned “Slips, Trips and Falls” – Community safety in SG looking at home safety visits to identify other needs. Mark McAteer - Local Government Improvement Service Representative was working with IJB on a strategy for home safety. John asked about housing supply grant. Angela clarified that there was no top up to housing supply grant and that there was flexibility in existing structures. The Disability Action Plan published last week said that it won’t allow existing mechanisms to stop building for disabled people.
  • Greig thought there could be more emphasis on digital and would send some examples to MI.
  • Angela said that we would organise a meeting towards the end of March to finalise the review and meantime we would email versions we wanted the groups opinion.

5. Adaptations
Most of this was covered earlier in the meeting. MM indicated that a set of training modules had been developed as part of the Adapting for Change pilot. The modules received a soft launch in Fife in October and there will be further testing in Fort William in the New Year. The training guide will be practical and for staff in housing and health and social care. Derek asked about future plans for adaptations if Help to Adapt was not going to be rolled out. Angela said that SG would be working with Link to capture the learning from the pilot. Angela gave an update on the work on creating a right to adapt common parts which SG hopes to finalise next year.

6. I-hub update
MM updated the work of the I-hub housing team including Adapting for Change, review of Housing Contribution Statements, interim supported accommodation, how housing can support GPs, and informed the group that events are planned between January and March to share practice across the sector.

7. Heath and Social Care update
Angela covered the update provided by Health colleagues on the Living Wage for care staff, changes to support for Armed Forces Veterans and the Home Care Project. MI to provide more information on veterans for Moira and find out when Home Care report is due.

8. Any other business
Derek mentioned that Audit Scotland had done some work on health and social care. Derek to provide details to share with the group.

9. Date of next meeting

Next meeting takes place in March. We will circulate possible dates in the New Year.

Housing and Independent Living December 2016

Back to top