‘No ticking time bomb here’: Homelessness among elderly ‘rising’

The Local Government Association claims the nation is facing a ticking time bomb in the number of homeless older people, ANL-171013-132449001
The Local Government Association claims the nation is facing a ticking time bomb in the number of homeless older people, ANL-171013-132449001

East Lindsey is well-placed to support the housing needs of its old people, according to the local authority.

The council was responding to claims the nation is facing a “ticking time bomb” in the number of homeless older people, after latest figures showed an alarming rise of 130 per cent since its lowest point eight years ago..

Demand for older persons social housing is generally lower than family accommodation meaning shorter waiting times but this is dependent upon the property type and area.

East Lindsey District Council

The claims came from the Local Government Association, who state that older homelessness is a growing hidden phenomenon that needs greater understanding.

Latest figures show that between April and June this year, councils accepted 620 people aged over 60 as homeless – at a rate of nearly 10 a day. This is up from the 270 accepted between October and December 2009, which was the lowest number since records began in 2005.

The LGA, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, is warning that based on existing trends, this is set to double by 2025.

However, East Lindsey says the problem of homelessness has been ‘fairly static’ in East Lindsey for a number of years and the people why apply for accommodation because they are homeless is ‘very low’.

The statement said: “Affordability is an issue that can affect any age group and anyone at risk of homelessness due to financial difficulties can contact the Council’s Housing Advice team for advice and assistance.

“This could include a referral to the Wellbeing Service or for housing support. “The Housing Advice team would also discuss options for moving into more affordable accommodation which can also better meet the applicant’s needs.

“The council provides funding to the Citizens Advice Bureau to enable the provision of debt and welfare advice to make sure residents are claiming what they are entitled to whilst trying to reduce any debts if applicable.

“Demand for older persons social housing is generally lower than family accommodation meaning shorter waiting times but this is dependent upon the property type and area.

“There are three extra care housing schemes in East Lindsey (Skegness, Louth and Sutton on Sea) which provide on-site personal care while supporting residents to continue living independently. For those that don’t wish to move they might be entitled to receive assistance within their own home and should contact Lincolnshire County Council to find out whether they are entitled.

“Lincolnshire’s District Councils work closely together to tackle homelessness and will shortly launch a new Homelessness Strategy. This takes account of local evidence of need, such as that identified in Lincolnshire’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) produced by Lincolnshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board. The Board will publish a new Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Lincolnshire in 2018 and consultation to date identifies Housing as one of the potential priorities to be included in this.

“The Homelessness Strategy identifies short, medium and long term actions, and also areas of research to understand needs more fully. Whilst we are not currently aware of significant numbers of older people who are homeless, Lincolnshire’s District and County Councils, with North and North East Lincs Councils, continue to be proactive. They have recently made a joint bid for support from the LGA’s Housing Advisors Programme to do more detailed research into the Housing needs of older people and options for meeting these in the coming years. The outcome of the bid is not yet known.”