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Co-producing a business case for older people’s housing


Co-producing a business case will help to ensure that decisions about housing for older adults, priorities and investment opportunities are in line with the needs of the local community. Co-production will benefit the business case by helping the partnership with:

  • A better understanding of people’s vision, aspirations, and housing needs.
  • Understanding new unmet needs previously not identified.
  • Increasing the level of buy-in and uptake of the business plan, in particular the housing with care and support developments proposed, thereby facilitating implementation and upscaling.
  • Developing a collaborative relationship between partners, customers, and stakeholders that will be key for delivering housing options for older adults.

As well as the benefits outlined above, co-production will help the partnership navigate the different steps of the toolkit. The guidance supports co-production for each step of the toolkit, and the business case as a whole, and is rooted in SCIE’s principles for co-production, presented below.

It is not assumed that those involved in a housing partnership would already be experienced in co-production and may need support and skills development. Similarly, older adults and others in the community who participate in co-production may benefit from additional support with some activities and opportunities to gain skills for them to fully engage and contribute. It may help to view it as a joint journey where no one starts off with all the answers, but everyone is willing to learn.

Principles of co-production

Equality: One of the key benefits of co-producing a business case is to gain insights from and share decision making power with people who are experts in their own housing, care and support needs. Their views are key to the successful delivery of housing options for older adults and their input should have equal weight in deciding the development priorities proposed in the business plan.

Diversity: It is key to ensure that the co-production process is inclusive and that all key groups are represented. All groups should also be able to confidently express their views and the decision-making process should reflect an accurate representation of local people’s needs.

Accessibility: It is fundamental to maximise people’s involvement and to ensure that individuals feel confident and motivated to fully engage in discussions and decision making. This means ensuring that individuals have the same conditions and opportunities to take part in the process and that barriers are removed. It includes creating a friendly environment, and adapting ways of information sharing and discussion to meet the needs of different groups, thereby facilitating their involvement.

Reciprocity: This is a key concept in co-production and has been defined as ensuring that people benefit from their contributions and builds on people’s desire to feel needed and valued. The idea has been linked to ‘mutuality’ and all parties involved having responsibilities and expectations. Putting reciprocity into practice can help to create a sense of togetherness.

‘I’ and ‘We’ statements

To support the development of the business case for housing for older people, we have outlined a set of statements to highlight the types of co-production outcomes associated with each of the steps. Please note that these statements are illustrative, and we encourage housing partnerships to adapt them as they see fit to best reflect their local context. The statements are divided in to ‘I’ statements that suggest key outcomes for individuals co-producing the step, and ‘We’ statements that suggest actions and outcomes to be delivered by the partnership facilitating the development of the business case. This approach is based on TLAP’s (Think Local, Act Personal) ‘Making it Real’ framework that aims to facilitate the personalisation of care and support.

SCIE and TLAP have developed guidance on how to effectively plan and run co-production. This guidance can be helpful to support the co-production of the business case and give insights on how to effectively include people with lived experience in the decision-making process. More details can be found on “Co-production: what it is and how to do it“. Summary and practice examples.

Toolkit: Steps one to ten

Full toolkit – PDF download

Toolkit for place-based plans for housing for older adults