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Agenda Item No. 5











The Head of Housing and Building Services presented the reference from the Healthy Living and Social Care Scrutiny Committee to update Members on the assessment of older peoples housing and accommodation across the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff. 


Part 9 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 required Regional Partnership Boards to agree an integrated Market Position Statement (MPS) and commissioning strategy for older people services.  To meet the requirement, the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Regional Partnership Board (CVGRPB) published its MPS in January 2018, following approval by the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Cabinet, Cardiff Council and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.


In order to action upon the findings of the MPS, the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN) were commissioned by the Partnership to undertake a review, using funding provided by the Welsh Government's Integrated Care Fund.  The final report was provided to Committee at Appendix 1 to the report.


The Assessment of Older Person’s Housing Accommodation reported that the proportion of the population over 75 years of age was expected to increase by 71% in the Vale of Glamorgan by 2035.  This meant that the Council, working with housing partners and care providers, needed to consider the development of alternative types of accommodation which enabled people to live at home for as long as possible.


The Officer apprised the committee of the overarching aims of the research which included to identify current and future provision, where data allowed, for each of the three cluster areas in the Vale of Glamorgan: Central, Eastern and Western Vale:

  • Provide a comprehensive understanding of the nature of current housing and accommodation provision for older people – including both social and private sector housing;
  • Identify the requirements and aspirations of older people in later life specifically in relation to housing and accommodation;
  • Identify the need for older people’s housing and accommodation, including different types of housing such as extra care housing, sheltered and retirement housing;
  • Set out a specification of the types of housing and accommodation that would meet the identified needs and requirements of older people.

In terms of current provision, the findings of the research revealed that in the Vale of Glamorgan the most prevalent type of older people's housing was sheltered housing with 625 units and 927 other age designated housing units in the social rented sector.  The current private retirement housing provision of 204 units provided a mix of housing choices for different equity and income groups.


The Officer highlighted that it was also reported that there was very limited extra care housing / housing with care provision in the Vale of Glamorgan, currently only 42 units, when compared with the prevalence of 464 beds residential care beds.


With regards to building facilities, the research also highlighted a number of challenges regarding current housing in relation to a low proportion being wheelchair accessible and approximately 50% of older people schemes across Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan having a lift.


The Officer advised that in order to identify future requirements the HLIN modelled the provision of accommodation on the basis that the preferred approach by the Council would be to increase the number of extra care housing units as a direct alternative to the use of additional residential care beds.  Similarly it was also assumed that partners would wish to increase the supply of Housing our Aging Population Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) inspired 'care ready' contemporary sheltered / retirement housing for older people which was suitable for ageing at home by creating accessible living space, accessible kitchens and bathrooms to allow domiciliary care to be provided without necessitating a move to residential care.


Based on these assumptions, it was forecast that by 2035 the Vale of Glamorgan would require an additional 586 additional older person housing units, 385 housing with care units and 326 additional nursing care beds.


The Officer apprised the Committee of an online survey and a series of focus groups and interviews with older people that were undertaken across the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff as part of the research.  The engagement revealed a number of key messages to be taken into consideration for future development:


  • Adaptations to bathrooms; installation of grab rails; improving access such as ramps and installations of stair lifts / lifts were the most popular adaptations people had made or were planning to make to enable people to stay in their own homes;
  • The main reasons for planning a move from home was to live in a smaller and more accessible home; to move nearer to family and / or friends and to have access to care services;
  • The most popular locations in the Vale of Glamorgan that people wished to move to were Western Vale and Eastern Vale;
  • The most popular types of housing older people were seeking to move to were bungalows, followed by houses and then flats.  60% wanted at least two bedrooms in a property to consider downsizing.  Other key factors were safety / security; having a private garden; adequate storage; having a garage or parking; moving to an area with cafes/shops;
  • Nearly half of respondents (47%) would not wish to move to housing designated for older people although 29% would consider this, with many wanting a visiting or on-site staff presence.


The Final Assessment Report set out a number of recommendations for the Vale of Glamorgan Council and the wider Partnership to consider.  These included:


  • Further development of contemporary 'care ready' sheltered / retirement housing which was without care on site but enabled people to age at home;
  • Mainstream housing developments to include well designed units which appealed to older people and which promoted inter-generational housing;
  • Increase the delivery of housing with care options including extra care and extra care 'lite' which may include smaller scale new build developments and redesigning some appropriate sheltered housing schemes to include a 'care hub';
  • Develop a comprehensive information and advice service for social housing tenants and homeowners in relation to adaptations and housing options;
  • Scale up the development of 'step-down' housing based models of care to support timely discharge from hospital and promote reablement;
  • To work with the Welsh Government in relation to affordable housing targets and the potential for guidance in relation to older people housing;
  • To work with care providers to consider alternative service models to residential care, including provision of nursing care.


As a supplementary point, the Officer added that only 2% of the total housing stock for the Vale of Glamorgan was currently assigned to elderly people as most elderly people were remaining in their own homes. 


In conclusion, the Head of Housing and Building Services advised that the findings would be discussed further with the Vale of Glamorgan's Housing Forum and Care Provider Forums.  The intention was that the report would also form an addendum to the Local Housing Market Assessment which would subsequently inform future planning policy.


As part of the wider partnership working across the region, the CVGRPB would also host a stakeholder event in the Autumn to encourage further discussion on joint working, including opportunities to align funding such as the Welsh Government's Integrated Care Fund.


The findings of the assessment would be discussed further with the Vale of Glamorgan’s Housing Forum and Care Provider Forums and the intention was that the report would also form an addendum to the Local Housing Market Assessment which would subsequently inform future planning policy. 


Therefore, the Council would continue to apply for Welsh Government funding to improve and/or increase the housing supply available however, the Council did not anticipate growth in residential care as the assessment clearly set out that individuals did not wish to reside in residential care in the future but would rather stay in their own homes. 


A Member thanked the Officer for his presentation and complimented the extensive detail contained within the report and in particular examples of best practice undertaken by other local authorities, referred to on page 93 of the assessment report.  As many of the case studies referred to international examples of best practice the Member stated that it was imperative that the Council adopt international ways of working and/or thinking as those authorities had already evidenced an excellent standard of service. 


As a secondary point, the Member also noted that there was a lack of reference to the integration and/or the use of technology within the report.  As the Strategy was long term it was important to recognise that the older persons of today were a limited generation in terms of technology and the younger generations that the Strategy would more greatly affect would have a much higher level of dependency, knowledge and expectation for the use of technology. 


A Member also complimented the detailed report and was pleased to find that many of his concerns had been referred to within the contents.  The Member seconded the Member’s earlier point that the plan was a ‘long term’ plan and added that many individuals had already taken financial steps to provide for themselves in retirement.  The Member also wished to make the point that individuals were frightened by the thought of going into residential care and therefore the stance for staying in their own homes was greatly received and understandable.  It was important to note that each area of the Vale of Glamorgan was very different and therefore Ward Member consultation was extremely important and would prove very useful to Officers going forward. 


At this point, the Head of Housing and Building Services wished to add that the assessment was the starting point for building the long term strategy which would take into consideration European models and inter-generational housing.  Considerable consideration would also be given to Statutory Planning Guidance and to the fact that the number of local authority social rented housing was very small compared to individuals in private homes. 


A Member stated that given the large amount of rural environments unique to the Vale of Glamorgan, all future Strategy work needed to be appropriate to the Vale of Glamorgan and therefore not on an entirely regional basis.  In response, the Head of Housing and Building Services advised that consideration would be given to the rural areas and communities within the Vale of Glamorgan by addressing Section 106 requirements.


The Chairman summarised the valid points raised by the Committee Members and added that strong partnership working between the Housing, Planning and Social Services Departments was crucial to completing the long term strategy. 


Subsequently, it was




(1)       T H A T the contents of the report and reference from the Healthy Living and Social Care Scrutiny Committee be noted.


(2)       T H A T the comments of the Committee as set out in the minutes above be referred to Cabinet for its consideration.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       Committee is aware of the findings of the report and comments raised by the Healthy Living and Social Care Scrutiny Committee and the projected increased demand for appropriate accommodation to meet the requirements of an ageing population with a growing prevalence of care and support needs.


(2)       To ensure that Cabinet are aware of the thoughts of the Homes and Safe Communities Scrutiny Committee regarding Older Person’s Housing and Accommodation, including with Care Needs.”