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BOPF Housing Survey Report – May 2020

HOUSING AND OLDER PEOPLE:
‘We are part of the solution not the problem’

You can download the report HERE.

‘Older people should be seen as part of the housing solution and not part of the housing problem’
This report was commissioned by Bristol Ageing Better (Oct 2019 – March 2020) as part of the ‘Age-Friendly City’ initiative. The main purpose was to look at current housing for older people (over the age of 50) in Bristol and to identify their key challenges and future needs in relation to their homes.

Our aim was to focus on the ideas, concerns and views of older people across the city and to kick-start a process whereby older people could be at the heart of future decision-making on housing in Bristol.

The report recommends that the Housing Action Group becomes an advisory body to influence housing policy and plans in Bristol.

Acknowledgements

The Bristol Older People’s Forum (BOPF) wishes to thank all those who contributed to the research, the BOPF Housing Action Group, Bristol Disability Equalities Forum, Bristol Drugs Project, BAB LGBT+ Advisory Group, the Housing Professionals we spoke to (named in section 6) and all the individuals who contributed to discussions, took part in interviews or completed the questionnaire.

We are grateful also for the support received from Bristol Ageing Better and the University of the West of England (UWE) Department of Health and Social Sciences in preparing and designing the questionnaire.

Summary of Findings

A number of key themes have emerged from this survey and are set out in detail in the main body of the report.

In summary these included:

  • The importance of location and staying in the community
    69% of older people said this in the survey
  • The need for older people to be listened to and have the opportunity to influence decision-making
  • The need for older and disabled people to be involved in the design of future housing schemes and the improvement of existing ones
  • The effects of a reduction in housing support, particularly warden services in sheltered housing
  • The need for adaptations and futureproofing, and associated independent advice, to enable older people to stay in their own homes
  • The need for more creative housing options for older people in their own community – including challenging the often-perceived stigma of sheltered housing
  • The need for trustworthy tradespeople and help with maintaining the home
    36% of older people in the survey had difficulty with home maintenance
  • Fear of crime and anti-social behaviour and fear of eviction –
    In the survey 26% of those in the private rented sector mentioned fear of eviction
  • The importance of promoting a positive image of older people and challenging ageism
Recommendations
  1. To formally recognise the BOPF Housing Action Group as an advisory sub-group of the Homes and Communities Board of the One City Plan (or similar future structures) with bi-monthly meetings with the political Chair and to include other key housing policy and decision makers.
  2. Ensure that members of the BOPF Housing Action Group are used as advisors by housing developers, local politicians, planners, architects, academics and other professionals who are directly involved in future housing for older people in Bristol – including the development of mixed–age (inter-generational) neighbourhoods and schemes that promote innovation.
  3. More generally we would like to see all organisations in the private and public sector, including BCC, review their own work practices and eliminate ageism and ageist stereotyping. We want to ensure that older people are seen as part of the solution and not part of the problem.
  4. The BOPF Housing Action Group to further develop the key findings and themes of this report based around a clear and concise Action Plan of priorities.
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