New Government Investment for older homeowners
Government Investment for older homeowners
to enjoy longer independent living at home
Winning a prestigious UKRI trailblazer grant award for its Healthy Homes, Healthy Lives programme, London Rebuilding Society partners with more2life, a major UK later life lender.
The government’s Healthy Ageing Challenge has selected only 5 trailblazers, and one is Healthy Homes, Healthy Lives (HHHL) led by London Rebuilding Society.
The financial system was failing older homeowners who are asset rich but cash poor. HHHL is designed to provide a lifeline to those over-55 homeowners who need to carry out much needed repairs and improvements or have been unable to get finance to fund the works. With traditional equity release products precluding properties which need this type of improvement, this new plan is designed to support those who are living in these poor conditions and enable them to live in their own homes independently for longer – healthier, and happier.
Older homeowners don’t necessarily want to move or go into a care home, but as they age, they might be unable to keep on top of repairs, so their house deteriorates. The prospect of managing contractors can be daunting. HHHL involves older homeowners in the redesign of their homes and London Rebuilding Society manages all the risk by standing between the client and the contractor.
Healthy Homes, Healthy Lives (HHHL) enables older homeowners create improved living conditions that meet their needs, by refurbishing their homes. Up to now it has been difficult to unlock the value of a home to finance a major refit: existing equity release providers tend to be conservative and support only basic home improvements.
HHHL lends against the value that a house will have once it has been refitted, not what it is currently worth. This means that homeowners with fewer means can make vital improvements, confident that their spending is coming from the extra value they are adding.
A family of 6 – parents and 4 children in their 20s and 30s lived in an overcrowded home needing repair. By extending and refurbishing their home, not only does it look great, but also provides space, comfort and a secure asset needed for real quality of life for this multi-generational family.
“This is about holding people’s hands through the process,” said Naomi Kingsley. “We also give them access to affordable connectivity and assistive technology such as energy sensors and energy monitoring which can help them reduce fuel bills, and the cost of living.
The project is now beginning to deliver at scale: starting in London and Brighton, the approach could ultimately be expanded across the UK. For Naomi Kingsley, “the support we’ve had from the Healthy Ageing challenge has been the catalyst, enabling us to take a new approach to address a market failure.”
Who benefits? “Our approach is good for communities. It helps to take pressure off the NHS and the care system. It addresses the problem of fuel poverty and helps to reduce carbon emissions. But most of all we’re helping people to live independently for longer, healthier and happier, in their own homes.”
I never believed I could change the state of my house, it was so cluttered and in such poor condition. Then I met LRS, and their wonderful constant support gave me the hope and confidence that I could do it. Now I have the best house in the street, and I feel so much healthier and happierMs M
UKRI’s Healthy ageing Challenge
A major aim of the Healthy Ageing Challenge is to help level up inequalities, from social care, to health and housing, projects are creating solutions that are affordable for all, not just those who are lucky to be affluent. Therefore, meeting the needs of diverse communities and helping to increase healthy life expectancy right across the UK.