This guidance is about preventing homelessness in older age. Homelessness prevention is high on the government agenda and on the agenda of local authorities and other housing providers. Prevention is cost effective and stops the downwards spiral associated with the onset of homelessness.
Advice about homelessness and prevention of homelessness is available free of charge to everyone from their local authority. Older people are one of the categories that housing authorities need to consider may be less able to fend for themselves and therefore vulnerable and in priority need, however the Code of Guidance states that age alone is not sufficient for the applicant to be deemed vulnerable and each case will need to be considered in the light of individual circumstances.
The Housing Act 2002 strengthened the strategic approach to preventing homelessness and put a duty on local authorities to produce housing strategies and in 2006 the CLG produced guidance for local authorities on Homelessness Prevention. However the prevention of homelessness specifically in older people is not addressed and is a subject that often gets very little attention. However, to prevent older homelessness, it does need to be tackled in different ways to the homelessness of the younger population.
These web pages explore the events that can trigger homelessness in older people and the interventions that might be put in place to prevent older people from becoming homeless.
It is divided into a number of sections. Each of the the section headings below is a link to that section. At the end of each section there is a link to take you to the next section.
This section explores what we know about numbers of older people becoming homeless:
This section looks at what the policy drivers are for local authorities and housing providers to get involved in prevention of homelessness in older people.
This section looks at some of the issues that combined together often precede homelessness in older people.
These pages look at reaching out to insecurely housed older people, case finding through Home Improvement Agencies and health professionals using a homelessness prevention checklist and the importance of hospital admission and discharge as a time for homelessness prevention. It also looks at offering housing advice around bereavement.
This page describes the need to specifically target older people in harder to reach groups with housing advice as part of a homelessness prevention strategy. It looks at different groups of hard to reach older people and suggests ways of making housing advice more accessible to them.
This page looks at the features of housing advice that makes it more accessible to older people, e.g. targeted services, location, flexibility, a person centred service and time to build a trusting relationship.
Older people may need support in order to be able to maintain their home and retain their independence for a whole range of reasons. An important element is finding out about and responding to those support needs before they become a crisis. This page contains a number of case studies of different models of housing support services.
This page looks at sheltered housing as a model of housing support for older people, the changing nature of sheltered housing and the need to retain the features of sheltered housing that make it work for some older people.