Issued by City of York Council
City of York Council is today (Thursday 14 November) launching a new national partnership programme to deliver local housing and care options advice services for older people.
The council is one of 15 local authorities, services and charities to have successfully bid for money from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for a dedicated older people’s housing advice project and will be hosting the launch of the national FirstStop programme.
Over the next 18 months, FirstStop aims to help older people consider what accommodation or adaptations might best support their independence in later life.
The programme fits in with the council’s updated and broader supported housing ambitions, as approved last week by the council’s cabinet, as well as building on its very well-received older people’s housing advice sessions.
The £48,000 grant will develop these alongside ongoing projects relating to fuel poverty and supporting downsizing.
Working with partners including Age UK and home improvement agencies, the project will raise awareness about the types of home available in York.
These include those that are easier to maintain and adapt, that are closer to amenities – which also helps reduce isolation – as well as the considering the lower bills and council tax that comes with downsizing.
The programme will provide practical support and assistance for older people to implement their chosen housing and care options.
It will also raise awareness of and provide information, workshops and training about older people’s housing and care options and sources of related advice and information for older people, volunteers, professionals and other interested parties.
Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Services, said: “This project forms an important part of our plans to support the city’s growing population of older people which is expected to see the number of over 85-year-olds grow by 60 per cent.
“Helping them to make choices that lead to a comfortable, convenient and affordable home also means extended independence and less reliance on support services which are being increasingly stretched by economic challenges.
“Our programme aims to help over 1,000 older households in York, and is being supported by our ongoing work to fight fuel poverty and raise standards in private sector accommodation.”
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