New report published on the future of housing

November 15, 2021

A new report concludes that an overhaul is needed on how housing with care and support is planned, commissioned, designed and delivered.

The report, published by the Commission on the Role of Housing in the Future of Care and Support, is called A place we can call home: A vision and a roadmap for providing more options for housing with care and support for older people.

It calls for ambitious plans for housing with care and support to be at the heart of the White Paper for social care. The Commission looked at the spectrum of housing options that provide care and support, including retirement housing, care homes, extra care, Shared Lives, supported living and co-housing and heard from a range of older people about the challenges and difficulties they face – and the choices they want to see.

The report includes a number of recommendations for national Government, for local authorities and local partners, and for developers and providers and paints a picture of what the route to achieving more choice, more consistently provides could look like.

The Commission makes a number of key recommendations, including:

For national Government

  • Create a national long-term vision and strategy for housing with care and support for older people, co-produced with people with lived experience and other key stakeholders.
  • Legislate for a new Housing Future Fund that obliges partners in local places including the NHS and local authorities to pool statutory funding and work together to develop a single plan for housing for older people.
  • Streamline and simplify the national planning framework and guidance to encourage greater levels of investment in housing with care and support development.
  • Increase capital investment in housing with care developments particular of approaches to housing with care which support people to live independently.
  • Invest in improved information, advice and advocacy to support people to find the right option for them.

For local authorities and local partners

  • Form local partnerships to produce a single plan for improving housing for older people within a local place, co-produced with people who draw on support.
  • Establish and resource local co-production forums made up of, and speaking for, older people from all kinds of backgrounds, to influence planning, commissioning and design of housing.

For developers and providers

  • Provide a diverse range of different housing with care and support options for older people, broadening choice at all levels of affordability.
  • Developers should ensure that all new developments adopt the 10 HAPPI design principles as a minimum which provide guidelines for the production of high-quality housing with care and support.
  • The Commission believes that as much as is feasible, people should be supported to live in their own homes if they choose to, but there will always be some people who need or want to move from their original home and they should have a range of suitable choices available to them, locally.


The Commissioners emphasise that the strategy must be co-produced with older people, their carers and families. Co-production is about developing more equal partnerships between people who use services, carers and professionals.

Professor Julienne Meyer CBE, Professor Emerita of Nursing: Care for Older People at City, University of London, said, ‘I said last year that this Commission mustn’t just be a talking shop. I’m delighted that this report makes some tangible recommendations for a ten-year strategy. The seven principles of excellence, identified in the report, are key to delivering our shared vision with Social Care Future, where we all want to live in a place we call home with the people and things we love, in communities where we look out for one another, doing the things that matter most.’

SCIE’s Chair, Rt Hon Paul Burstow, also Co-chair of the Commission on Housing and Care, said, ‘No decision about care and support should be made without considering where people live. This report is a wake-up call: It makes a compelling case for investing in innovative housing with care and raising public awareness of their later life housing options. Better housing can help people to live in places that matter to them as they age, to remain independent as long as possible and stay connected with their family, friends and communities.’

Funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust, and managed by SCIE, the Commission on the Role of Housing in the Future of Care and Support was established in October 2020. Composed of a group of leaders of care and support organisations, academics, experts and practitioners related to housing with care and support, and co-chaired by the Rt Hon Paul Burstow, Professor Julienne Meyer CBE and Sir David Pearson CBE, the Commission was tasked with developing a vision and roadmap for providing more options for housing with care and support.

Visit the SCIE website to register and download the housing report in full.

The Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) announced the new term, Integrated Retirement Community at its 'What Next, 2021' conference to describe the housing with care service-led operational model.

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