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Roundtable: Housing our ageing population

Shelters ‘A better fit? Creating housing choices for an ageing population’ highlighted the fact that: ‘England’s population is ageing, and fast. By 2030 one in three people are projected to be aged 55 and over. Older people will be a diverse group, ranging from economically powerful ‘baby boomers’ to over-85s with high care and support needs. How will the housing market respond to this demographic change? Do we have the right kinds of accommodation for older people, in the right places?

Much of the research and reporting on this issue has focussed on housing, but as the overall winner of the 2017 Housing Design Awards, New Ground Cohousing in London, demonstrates the question is not simply about homes, but how older people want to live in older age. New approaches to living together in older age are emerging, which like New Ground enable older people not only to have privacy but also to interact with each other so that they are part of wider communities, essential if older people are to be able access services and facilities, maintaining their independence. As Design for Homes chief executive David Birkbeck said about the award: “The industry is slowly cottoning on to the fact that these are often the people with readily available equity and they’re using that power to challenge cultural perceptions about what housing for older people should be.”

This Kent Design roundtable brings together public and private sector members of Kent Design to question how we can work together to develop new models of housing that respond to the changing needs of our ageing population. To start the discussion we will be hearing from Emma Webster, Public Policy Manager at PegasusLife. Emma works with local communities and elected members to understand the importance of the provision of housing for older people.  She has recently given evidence to HAPPI 2, Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation and was responsible for PegasusLife’s submission to Department for Local Government’s Inquiry into Housing for Older People. We will also hear from Marcus Wilshere, Senior UK Masterplanner, IBI Group and a member of Design South East’s expert network. Marcus will outline the IBI’s thinking and practice, drawing on examples from across the UK.

This discussion is an opportunity to challenge preconceptions, develop our joint thinking and shape new approaches to an issue that is of relevance to us all.

The roundtable will be chaired by D:SE Director, Chris Lamb and will use the Chatham House Rule.

Time & Date:
Monday 4th September 2017, 09:00 – 11:15

Civic Centre, Gravesham Borough Council, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1AU

Roundtables are by invitation to members of Kent Design only.

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