The latest English Housing Survey is an interesting read – use it!

The latest English Housing Survey is an interesting read – use it!

The results from the latest English Housing Survey were published in July. It provides a wealth of valuable information that should be very useful to policymakers but also to the providers of housing and services. It is vital to base your service planning on good customer insight. The Survey gives a source of data that allows comparisons with national data to show how your customer base may vary.

The range of publications about the Survey includes one on older people’s housing which gives valuable insights.

  • We know overall people are living longer. In 2020-21, 29% of households in England are older households (aged 65+). Whilst the majority of older households own their home outright, a quarter still have either rent or mortgage payments.
  • Nearly half of older households included someone who was living with a long-term illness or disability. The likelihood of long-term illness or disability and use of a wheelchair increased with age.
  • There isn’t sufficient good quality housing suitable to meet the needs of older people. Around a third of older households live in accommodation on a single level, with social renters more likely to live in flats and bungalows than owners.
  • Overall, fewer older owners (41%) lived in a household where someone had a long-term illness or disability, compared to either social (63%) or private renters (53%).
  • Older owners lived in larger homes, with a mean floor area of 109 m2 compared with private renters (73m2) and social renters (60 m2).
  • Nearly three-quarters of older households had a room at entrance level that was suitable to be used as a bedroom and nearly half had a bathroom at the entry-level.
  • At this time, affordability is a key issue for many. Older private renters spend a greater proportion of their income on rent than older social renters.
    • In 2020-21, social renters aged 65 and overpaid, on average, 27% of their household income on their rent when housing support was included, and 34% of their income when housing support was excluded.
    • Older private renting households spent 38% of their household income on rent when housing support was included, and 48% when it was excluded.
    • Older mortgagors paid, on average, 31% of their household income on their mortgage. On top of their housing costs, older people have also been struggling with their energy bills. More than half of older households lived in homes that had an Energy Efficiency Rating of D or below.
  • Housing condition has also been in the news for much of the last year. In 2020-21 1.1 million older households lived in homes that did not meet the Decent Homes Standard. Older private renters were more likely to experience issues with decency and dampness than owners or social renters.

This is just a small sample of the valuable messages from the Survey. They support the priority for policymakers and providers of housing and support services to redouble efforts to provide specialist housing to respond to the increasing needs amongst older people but also to meet their aspirations.

Especially at this time, we can’t ignore the number of older people living in non-decent homes and who those who will struggle to keep their homes warm.

One of ARK’s specialisms is in completing strategic reviews of housing for older people for housing providers, looking at the suitability of the homes and services. ARK brings together a team of highly experienced practitioners to apply their expertise to collate the evidence, agree priorities and deliver change.

If you want to hear more about how ARK could work with you to use this and other sources of information alongside your own data to understand your supported housing assets and services please contact Nick Sedgwick, Associate Director.