The Housing Learning and Improvement Network in the UK has recently released a guide that discusses what  ‘social capital’ in housing with services means for seniors. The guide outlines best practice examples on the use of volunteers, development of neighbor support networks, intergenerational housing relationships and  social enterprise. Based on a wide range of research, practice and responses from UK based housing providers, the authors discuss the challenges and barriers faced by many older people and provide a note of caution about clear assignment of responsibility for personal care and support in housing with services communities. In particular, they ask pertinent questions around:

  • How do volunteers contribute to the running of sheltered and housing with services programmes and the quality of life of those living in them?
  • How do those living in communities, exclusively designed for older people to support each other, contribute and connect to the wider community?
  • What does choice and control mean for people participating in housing with services programmes?
  • How can integrated housing with services programmes foster intergenerational solidarity?

You can see the full chapter here. If you are interested in housing with services, you might consider joining our study tour this September. Also, check out this video on the services that Patching Lodge, in Brighton, U.K. provides to its residents.