Guest blog: Campbell Tickell – Housing an ageing society

Housing an Ageing Society

We live in a rapidly ageing society. A girl born today has a 50% chance of reaching 100. By 2024, one in four of us will be over 60 and 2m people will be over 85. Although many will start our ‘old age’ healthy and active, we will inevitably become frailer as the growth in total life expectancy outpaces the growth in healthy life expectancy. As we live longer, more of us will suffer dementia at a time when social services are at breaking point.

A good later life depends on health, financial security and social connections. Helping people to stay well and maintain independence will improve the quality of life and reduce pressure on health services. Good housing can make a fundamental difference to health and well-being. A fifth of people aged over 65 rent their homes from a council or housing association; and one-third of housing association tenants are over 65.

The housing we provide in the future needs to be suitable for changing needs as people go through the different stages of ageing. It should be attractive, spacious and well located, safe and secure, affordable, warm in winter and comfortable in summer. And as most of our older tenants will live in general needs, we need to improve the ‘90% offer’ for those not in specialist accommodation.

To prepare for our ageing population, we must be clear who the housing is for: gathering customer data in order to understand actual future needs rather than making decisions based on assumptions and stereotypes; recognising too that demand will vary between locations. This means examining population projections based on ONS, together with income levels, health statistics, tenure and social care needs.

There are over half a million sheltered homes in the social housing sector. Those with existing specialist stock need to assess its suitability. Does it comply with HAPPI standards? Are there bedsits and shared facilities? Is there lift access and communal areas for activities? Storage for large items like wheelchairs and buggies? Access to local amenities?

The options for such homes could be to continue as sheltered, convert to older person specific housing, remodel as extra care, or use for an alternative client group. Some sites could be redeveloped for general needs; some schemes will be suitable for more than one function. Adapting general needs properties would enable many to remain in their home environment comfortably and safely.

Just as important as the physical surroundings is the support for older people. This is not just professional help, but support from peers and volunteers. Loneliness is a major problem for many older people. Enabling connections between people and facilitating informal help plays a critical role in maintaining health and well-being.

In short, a great deal needs to be done, but much can be achieved at relatively manageable cost. First and foremost, we must refocus our thinking, recognise the challenge and display imagination.

Maggie Rafalowicz is an Associate Director at Campbell Tickell. For more information or to discuss this article, please contact

Next Northern Reference Panel Meeting to be held at CIH 2017

We are pleased to invite members based in/around the North of England to join us for our next Northern Procurement Reference Panel meeting. It is to be held at the first day of the Chartered Institute of Housing Annual Conference and Exhibition Tuesday, 27th June from 4pm within the main conference building.

We facilitate this informal network on a quarterly basis and we are pleased to say it provides a perfect forum for procurement professionals form our northern membership to meet, share best practice, discuss current and emerging procurement issues, and receive useful information about current and upcoming projects their peers are working on.

If you would be interested in finding out more about the Procurement Reference Panel or view minutes of previous meetings please contact Louise Chase – Procurement and Contracts Manager –

Second Procurement Reference Panel Meeting in the Midlands

The Consortium has facilitated a series of Procurement Reference Panel meetings over the last six years. This informal network provides a quarterly forum for procurement professionals from our membership to meet, help shape our framework development plan; share best practice, discuss current and emerging procurement issues, and explore opportunities for collaboration.

Following the success of the Procurement Reference Panel meeting we held in Telford in March, we are planning to organise another meeting to be held on the 6th June. We would like to encourage our membership based in/around the Midlands area which would like to participate in our next meeting to let us know as soon as possible.

There is no obligation to attend regularly and we contact the group in advance for agenda items to ensure the sessions are focused and topical each time.

The last meeting’s agenda covered a range of topics, including:


  • Should Housing Associations still be contracting authorities / Are Housing Associations contracting authorities? And subject to the Public Contract regulations?
  • Procurement risks associated with Brexit – The HCA expect housing associations to be able to demonstrate that they have considered this
  • Current projects best practice – members of the panel advised on their current procurement projects with the aim of sharing any best practice, issues or general updates they think the group would find useful.
  • Social Value in procurement and Social Value Toolkit


There are only 20 spaces available for the session which is being held on Tuesday, 6th June 2017 at Walsall Housing Group offices (100 Hatherton Street, Walsall, WS1 1AB)

Please forward this information on to any colleagues within your organisation who may be interested in attending.

For more information please contact Nicola Benson on 0191 566 1000 or by email at

TECS user forum at the CIH Conference and Exhibition 2017

One of the benefits of being our member is the opportunity to network with other members, discuss solutions to common problems, and share good practice. We are pleased to be able to provide one more networking opportunity for our members.

We will be hosting a Technology Enabled Care Services User Forum especially for those members who have contracts with Tunstall Healthcare UK under the TECS framework, on the first day of the CIH Conference and Exhibition, Tuesday, 27th June. The forums will take place within the main conference building (Manchester Central), so it is a great opportunity for attendees to visit the exhibition too.

The TECS User Forum will allow members who use our framework for Technology Enabled Care Services (previously Assisted Living framework) to come along and join the conversation – as well as to hear from suppliers about the latest developments in telecare and telehealth.

If you’d like to find out what other frameworks we offer as part of our portfolio, please visit us at our stand C40 and have a chat with us.

For further details, please contact Nicola Benson, Procurement Support Officer on

NHC Submits Consultation Response to Housing White Paper

The Northern Housing Consortium has submitted its official response to the UK Government’s recent Housing White Paper. We welcome the opportunity to engage with government to support the development of an effective housing strategy that works for all localities across England.

In shaping our response to the White Paper, we held a series of member engagement roundtables and were pleased to host the Housing Minister in Gateshead. Our response has also been driven by the ongoing work of the Commission for Housing in the North.

We recognise that this White Paper is focused on housing supply and it was never intended to be a White Paper that would capture the wider holistic role that housing can play in shaping communities, improving life chances – including health and well-being. Our responses to the White Paper consultation focuses on supply. However, we feel strongly that the White Paper should have given more consideration to the importance of existing stock and the role that regeneration can play in supporting the supply of the right homes in the right places.

Notwithstanding the omission of regeneration in the White Paper, NHC members broadly welcomed the White Paper as it demonstrated a good analysis of the challenges facing housing supply and has made useful steps towards developing some solutions.

Read our full submission here.

New Tenants’ Contents Insurance Landlord Portal Now Live

We are delighted to announce that alongside our new framework for Tenants Contents Insurance (TCI), a brand new online portal is now available to all members who access the framework.

This unique knowledge sharing online portal provides all the advice landlords need to grow their scheme and avoid common risk. The portal was developed to complement the updated Tenants Contents Insurance framework and can be used by members to share best practice, download materials and receive regular updates.

The portal includes materials such as marketing initiatives, products, ideas and innovations and provides landlords with an array of tools and advice, with everything they need to grow their scheme at their fingertips.

The portal features a ‘News’ section where visitors are able to find up-to-date information on the latest insurance, housing and procurement insights as well as relevant news articles and links. Answers to commonly asked questions and queries will be provided and explained within the ‘FAQs’ section in a bid to support our members in the day-to-day utilising of the framework. Visitors will also be able to view recent case studies provided by members who have had positive experience of utilising the scheme and to get insight into what members value the most about the TCI service.

Rachel Wheeler, Senior Procurement and Contracts Officer at Consortium Procurement said: “We believe that the portal will act as a platform for landlords to network virtually, to share their experiences of using the framework and best practice as well as to share and receive relevant updates. The portal will add on to what is an extremely successful and popular framework within our membership and we hope that the improved SIMPLE Tenants’ Contents Insurance framework will appeal to members even more.”

Please click on the link to access the new landlord portal:

If you’d like to receive more information on both the new portal and the new SIMPLE Tenants Contents Insurance framework, please get in touch on 0191 566 1000 or email us at