Housing Voices: Using theatre and film to engage people in later life housing conversations

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Abstract

Housing has been a key priority for the Elders Council since its inception. Its Housing Action group has undertaken a range of projects which have provided opportunities for older people to express their views, which Elders Council regularly feeds back to Newcastle City Council, housing providers and others to influence local policy and service development. For example, Elders Council recently contributed to the review of Newcastle City Council’s Specialist Housing Delivery Plan and receives regular updates on its implementation.

Working with Care and Repair England on the national demonstrator programme on engaging older people to inform local and national housing policy and practice provided Elders Council with an opportunity to undertake a new project which would enable us to reach older people whose voices are less often heard. The work enabled Elders Council to build on a longstanding and successful partnership with Northumbria University and Skimstone Arts on the use of theatre to engage people in conversations about housing in later life. We chose to focus particularly on people who are ageing without children and carers of older people and to provide them with an opportunity to explore the issues which affect them. This was with the intention of providing the Elders Council with fresh insights to bring to local housing and housing related decision making as well as informing Elders Council’s ongoing work on housing information and advice.

The project is also of national policy relevance. There has recently been a renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (2018) on joint action across health, social care and housing sectors to improve health through the home. The Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee Inquiry into Older People’s Housing and its report on Housing for Older People report (2018) recognised that housing decisions in later life are often taken from a position of crisis, and concluded that a national strategy for older people’s housing is needed to bring together and improve policy in this area.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherHousing Action
Commissioning bodyCare and Repair England
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

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