Published 30 March 2022

50 predictions: Construction & Engineering

Anna Hart examines a report that considers how successfully housing with care and support integrate residents from minorities.Anna is a specialist in Social Care at international law firm DAC Beachcroft. The firm is a partner of the International Longevity Centre (ILC)Demand in the UK for high quality, age friendly housing options that provide onsite care and support for older adults is growing and is expected to continue and rise. Housing with care and support schemes are intended to prevent social isolation, prevent interaction among residents and help people live independent, healthy lives as they get older.A report “Diversity in Care Environments” conducted by Bristol University in collaboration with the International Longevity Centre (LC) and the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (HLIN) aimed to establish how these environments support residents from social minorities. The key findings noted in this Winter 2022 report are as follows:HCS (housing with care and support) works well in counteracting social isolation and preventing lonelinessResidents are less lonely in comparison to older people living in the wider communityThat pockets of isolation still exist though for some residents, particularly those from social monitoriesSocial minorities feeling disconnected from other residents due to different interests and life experiences and experience boundary setting by residents from social majoritiesDiscrimination was reported by 19% of ethnic minorities and by 13% of residents with a chronic illness or disabilityDiscrimination was more likely to come from other residents than staffAnd some key recommendations on how to create an inclusive environment:Better information to support decision making for potential residentsImproved inclusion with the local areaGreater interaction with potential and existing residents to understand needRegular training for staffEncouraging residents to contribute to a culture of inclusionSet expectations for new residents about what it means to be a good neighbourContinue to invest in on-site staff, who play a large role in identifying and managing emerging issuesProvision of a wide range of social activitiesCommunal spaces is fundamental to the design and garden spaceSmaller schemes, less than 50, seem to help foster improved relationsAdequate digital infrastructure, including wi-fi access in all apartmentsFinancial incentives, such as grant funding would help encourage developers to build on a smaller scaleRelease of affordable and available land for smaller developmentsFor details of the full report please access: Inclusive neighbourhoods: Promoting social inclusion in housing with care and support for older people - ILCUK