Responding to the Government's Housing Green Paper announced, Joe Oldman, Senior Policy Adviser for Help the Aged, says:

'The modest endorsement of Lifetime Homes Standards in the Green Paper is a missed opportunity to firmly put this principle in the mainstream. Older people are not a marginal or special interest group - we are likely to see a dramatic increase in the number of older households over the next 20 years.

'With the rigorous introduction of Lifetime Homes Standards, the Government could ensure all new housing developments meet people's needs throughout their lives. The majority of older people live in mainstream housing - basic and cost effective alterations in the design and construction of new housing can make it effective for future generations and therefore 'age proof'. Homes must be built to allow greater mobility and be easily adaptable to developments in new home technology, such as telecare and telemedicine.

'The Government intends to publish an older people's housing strategy in September. This should be an integral part of its legislative programme to improve the delivery of decent affordable housing for older people.'

Help the Aged is the charity fighting to free disadvantaged older people in the UK and overseas from poverty, isolation, neglect and ageism. It campaigns to raise public awareness of the issues affecting older people and to bring about policy change. The Charity delivers a range of services: information and advice, home support and community living, including international development work. These are supported by its paid-for services and fundraising activities - which aim to increase funding in the future to respond to the growing unmet needs of disadvantaged older people. Help the Aged also funds vital research into the health issues and experiences of older people to improve the quality of later life.

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