The aim of the housing work of Age Concern Scotland is to promote and develop policies and practices which improve the quality, range and scale of accommodation and housing services for older people in Scotland.
In addition, INNIS, Age Concern Scotland’s Retirement Housing Advice Service, offers free, independent advice and information to older people on housng options, and all issues relating to private sheltered and retirement housing.
Older people can be found in some of the worst housing conditions in Scotland. For more detailed information please download this briefing paper
Scotlands Housing & Older People (Feb 2005)
They can be living in housing that is damp, poorly heated and poorly insulated. Many older owner-occupiers’ properties are in poor repair, and they cannot afford to carry out essential maintenance and repair work. Bad design and lack of local resources leave too many older people housebound and isolated, and too many older people in Scotland suffer the indignity of homelessness.
Age Concern Scotland works to change this:
- We promote improved housing design. If we continue to design housing that will not meet our needs as we age, we store up great problems for the future. Many of us who find our homes unsuitable in later life will wish to move elsewhere. Unfortunately older people in this situation today have limited choices when seeking more convenient housing. There is still much to be done before our homes can accommodate us through all phases of our lives.
- We campaign for an end to fuel poverty. Each year, Age Concern Scotland mounts a public information campaign to raise awareness of the problems facing older people living in fuel poverty. We also campaign for national policy change. More information on our Winter Warmth Campaign.
- We campaign for better help for older people in poor condition housing. Campaigning by Age Concern Scotland and others resulted in the establishment of Care and Repair services, and their gradual expansion throughout the country. We continue to push for more grants targeted at older people whose housing is in very poor repair. We campaign for improvements in housing quality.
- We campaign for better services for homeless older people. Homelessness is not just a problem for young people. Too many older people experience the stigma of losing a home in old age, and too many people have grown old without ever having a proper home of their own. Age Concern Scotland was one of the first organisations in Scotland to highlight the problem of homelessness amongst older people, and we continue to raise awareness of their plight and to campaign for better services.
- We work at policy level to influence changes that affect older people. Currently, changes in property law will affect people in retirement housing, and others who have some common property, for example, residents in blocks of flats. The new provisions are complex and we are working with many stakeholders to improve information to consumers.
- We aim to improve the provision of housing advice and information for older people. Age Concern Scotland produces a wide range of factsheets, publications and leaflets.
- We work with a wide range of housing providers and policymakers, to improve their own practice, and to get our message across.
Key areas of work currently include:
- Supporting People is the new programme for delivering and paying for housing support. It was introduced in April 2003, when the planning and funding of housing support was transferred to local authorities. The majority of older people who receive this support live in sheltered housing. Please see our leaflet Sheltered Housing and Supporting People (PDF, 133 KB).
- Housing conditions in the private sector. For the first time in Scotland there are more homeowners than tenants, and Housing Policy is it at last turning attention to private sector housing. Age Concern Scotland has many years of understanding of this sector. We highlight poor condition housing amongst older people, management issues in private retirement housing.and maintenance problems in common propoerty.
- Promoting good practice in informing older tenants about stock transfer. Involving Older People in Stock Transfer (PDF file, 457 KB) is a guide for councils considering transfer of housing stock to a social landlord, written by Age Concern Scotland and the Tenants Information Service, and funded by the Scottish Executive.
Other Useful Information
Should I move? Housing choices for older people (PDF, 524 KB)
This book provides valuable assistance to older people by examining a range of alternative accommodation as well as help and support to remain in their own home. Also covers heating, insulation, improvements and repairs, feeling safe, help with housing costs. Includes a useful questionnaire to help put things into perspective. ISBN 1874399484. Free to individual older people and carers.
Scottish Property Law Reform :The Title Conditions (Scotland) Bill, Briefing Paper, August 2002 (PDF, 243KB)
Provides analysis, summary and comment on the legislation.