In 2011 the Scottish Government and COSLA published Age Home and Community: A Strategy for Housing for Scotland’s Older People. The strategy presented a vision for making housing and housing-related support work well for older people along with the outcomes we wanted to achieve and a set of actions we would take to achieve this. At the heart of this strategy was the knowledge that older people consistently say they want to remain at home as they age, and that living in the right home with the right physical features and having access to the right support services can provide the key to people being able to do this.
The strategy laid down a challenge for public services to pursue an urgent and sustained programme of reform, focused on improving outcomes through greater integration of public services at a local level – and achieving this despite the challenging economic situation and public sector funding constraints. It recognised an opportunity to change Scotland’s housing for Older People to make Scotland a better and fairer place, and called for partners to work together to achieve that vision.
At the midpoint of the 10 year strategy, this document sets out the key commitments made in 2011 and the progress made against these so far. This is an opportunity to recognise the progress made and celebrate some of the vital work going on across Scotland to ensure the Housing system is playing its part in rising to meet the changing needs and aspirations of Scotland’s older population.
Since 2011, significant progress has been made across the system. Collectively across Scottish Government, COSLA and partners across the Housing sector, we have reviewed and updated local planning regulations to better reflect the needs of older people; placed older peoples’ housing clearly within the new integrated health and social care landscape; taken steps to ensure high quality advice for older people on their housing options; implemented a fuel poverty strategy to help older people maintain a warm, comfortable home environment; provided practical advice to make best use of existing stock and taken steps to ensure new housing stock is available which meets older people’s needs.
While we are making progress, we must also ensure we continue to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities in achieving our vision for older people’s housing by 2021. That is why we are continuing to work with stakeholders to develop a refreshed strategy and delivery plan which will follow in autumn 2017. For now, the report which follows sets out some examples of progress and innovative practise, alongside an assessment of our work so far.
Minister for Local Government and Housing
Councillor Kelly Parry
Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing COSLA