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Step two: Map current provision of housing for older adults

Older people stretching in a class


This step will support you to provide an overview of the current local housing capacity for older adults across different types of housing with care and support and including general housing if that is a part of your housing plan. This is part of understanding whether current housing meets current need and to what extent is it likely to meet future needs. This will help you to identify unmet demand.

What will this step add to your business case:

  • A summary of current figures of housing provision for older people highlighting, priority areas, types of housing offered, and unmet needs.
  • Future projections of housing provision based on local market drivers, demographic projections, and local plans to expand and encourage investment in the area.  

Key questions

You will need to collect and analyse data to address the following questions: 

  • How much housing for older people is there in your local area? How many units of each type of housing for older people is available?
  • How does the provision compare with the demand? Is there enough housing available for older people? Is there a range of both housing and tenure types and do they match people’s preferences and needs? What are the gaps?
  • How many units of housing for older people are made available each year?
  • Is the housing provision likely to be reduced, stay the same, or increase over the coming years? What are the drivers for change? Are there any established targets for expanding the provision?
  • What are the gaps in provision? What are the areas and types of housing that most need investment to increase provision?
  • What has worked locally and what has not? For example, which schemes are popular, and which are less so? Are there private schemes with poor resale values?

How to?

Identify the current figures of units of housing for older people available in your locality.

  • Break it down by type of housing available. See here for a short overview of housing types.
  • Where possible, identify the availability of different housing and tenure types, as well as purchase cost (if applicable) and monthly costs to residents. This will help identify if some housing types are only available to some groups.
  • Break it down by local areas and provide a geographical overview of the provision. This will help to identify geographical priorities.

Compare the current provision with local demand (step 1) to identify any current and future gaps in provision.

  • Consider the different types of housing needed to match older people’s specific needs, income, affordability and eligibility for different types of housing.
  • Consider how current and future provision reflect the diversity of the local population, for example different ethnic groups, LGBTQ+ communities, disabled people, people living with dementia and people with visual or hearing impairments.
  • Identify regions and local needs to be prioritised.

Identify past and current trends in development, highlighting the number of units of housing made available each year.

Based on recent trends in developments, those developments already in the pipeline and what is already known about the local market, estimate the likely future growth in housing provision.

  • Consider to what extend the demand projections identified in Step 1 are likely to be met by the estimated future growth.
  • Include any local strategy, vision, or plans to set a target number of housing for older people to be developed in the future.

Identify the gaps in provision and highlight key opportunities for investment.

  • Highlight the types and tenures of housing to be prioritised based on local needs and current gaps.
  • Explore wider alternatives and consider types of housing not traditionally used in your local area to improve housing options (Step 6).

Sources of information and resources  

  • Current figures of housing provision for older people – number of units delivered over the past years. Ideally organised by housing type, builder, and operator.
  • Strategic plans and policies with relevant information on plans to influence future housing provision, including target numbers to be achieved.
  • Joint strategic needs assessments, joint health and wellbeing strategies, local adult social care strategy, housing needs assessments, local planning policies.
  • Summary of housing demand for older people (from step 1) to be compared to current and future provision, identifying areas and types of housing that most need increased provision.
  • Summary of resale values in owner-occupied schemes (Land Registry).
  • Interviews with residents in local schemes.

Partners to involve  

It is highly likely that no single group or body will hold the range of information needed or will be able to interpret the data that is held. Working across teams and with skilled data analysts is therefore essential to make best use of existing data. 

  • Local authority staff from planning and regeneration teams.
  • Strategic housing, planning, and social care policy teams.
  • Housing advice and homelessness.
  • Allocations/lettings, property services/surveyors.
  • Accessible housing register teams.
  • Specialist teams, for example, tenancy support/independent living/outreach and community services.
  • General and specialist housing associations.
  • Trade bodies for operators of older people’s housing, such as ARCO.
  • Data providers, such as the Elderly Accommodation Council (EAC).   


The ‘I’ and ‘We’ statements below are illustrative examples of co-production outcomes associated with this step. We encourage housing partnerships to adapt them as they see fit to best reflect their local context. 

For individuals:   

  • I say what is working well, what needs to be improved, and the gaps in provision of housing for older people.
  • I help decide what factors are most important to understand provision of housing for older people.
  • I have access to information on the current housing provision and so I can contribute to decision making about priorities.

For the partnership:

  • We have conversations with and take on board individuals’ views on the state and scale of current provision of housing for older people.
  • We make information accessible and available, facilitate individuals’ understanding, and support them in deciding the key priorities for housing provision for older people. 

Further information about the benefits of and principles of co-production, plus examples of co-production in the housing sector.

Case study

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority developed their Framework for Creating Age-Friendly Homes in Greater Manchester (2021-2024), presenting a detailed overview of the current and future demand and provision of housing for older people.

This informed their vision and strategy for developing age friendly homes in the coming years. The evidence base for the framework is formed by data drawn from the Greater Manchester Strategic Housing Market Assessment, State of Ageing (Centre for Ageing Better, 2020), One year on the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of people approaching later life (Centre for Ageing Better, 2021), Good Home Inquiry (Centre for Ageing Better, 2021, Ipsos MORI, and English Housing Survey.

Utilising a mix of local and national sources, the framework compares projections of demand and provision to assess key priorities and define an agenda that speaks to current and future gaps in the provision of housing for older people. The data analysis generated evidence statements that informed the framework, including:  

  • 454,000 residents of Greater Manchester are over the age of 65 and by 2024, residents age 50+ will exceed 1 million.
  • By 2035, 3 in 20 Greater Manchester residents will be 75 years or older. Between 2018 and 2043 the 75-84 age group is projected to rise by 57.3%; almost 1 in 3 will have a long-term illness that limits day-to-day activities ‘a lot’; just under 8% will be living with dementia.
  • Nationally, 18% of homes are officially classed as non-decent; over half of homes in need of improvements are headed by an adult over 55.
  • English Housing Survey suggests 27% of private rental sector homes do not meet the Decent Homes Standard, given the ageing profile of private rental stock in Greater Manchester it is likely conditions may be worse.
  • Nationally, 9% of current housing stock meets the most basic standard of accessibility.

Based on the evidence base, the framework outlines five themes to shape the local agenda for the years 2021-2024 to improve the housing offer.

The themes are:

  • Embedding ageing in all our housing strategy and delivery.
  • Resetting the conversation, ‘valuable not vulnerable’.
  • Making an impact on the ground.
  • Promoting ‘Improve or Move’.
  • Celebrating homes and neighbourhoods that enable people to live well in later life.

Please see the Framework for Creating Age-Friendly Homes in Greater Manchester, for further details.

Step three: Understand the local market

Full toolkit – PDF download

Toolkit for place-based plans for housing for older adults