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Boyle F and Thomson C (2013) Housing an ageing population: implications for managing the social housing stock. In: Smith, S D and Ahiaga-Dagbui, D D (Eds.), Proceedings 29th Annual ARCOM Conference, 2-4 September 2013, Reading, UK, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 1185–1195.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: existing housing; housing management; ageing population; shifting balance of care
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-7-6
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2013-1185-1195_Boyle_Thomson.pdf
  • Abstract:

    The UK is currently experiencing an exponential rise in the 50 + population with a peak not predicted until 2033. Increased life expectancy coupled with the retirement of the “post war baby boomers” presents a demographic spike which has significant implications for society. Prolonged longevity is often not accompanied by extended health, mobility and quality of life; and this represents a particular challenge for those involved in the provision and management of social housing. The choices available are heavily shaped by decreasing budgets and a lack of finance for new build solutions specific for an ageing population; and through the ‘Shifting the Balance of Care’ agenda an integrated care model based around the resident’s home is promoted. The existing housing stock requires adaption but this needs to reflect the requirements and preferences of the ageing population. Despite this, providers are experiencing a significant information gap around which to base their future development plans. This research explores the available data and conducts primary research to expose the scale of the problem and readiness of the current social housing stock within North Ayrshire (Scotland). The case study allows key findings to emerge relating to the evaluation of health profile and housing stock within the Sub-Market Housing Area (SMHA); housing preferences and needs for older people established through a questionnaire survey of 1,500+ people aged 50+; and six focus groups split between residents and social housing providers. Exposing the current lack of detail within existing datasets, the research highlights the need to resolve this in order to accurately plan for the future development of the stock to ensure it responds to service needs, preferences and is appropriate for the residents.