Affordable and Supportive Housing for the Elderly, Liverpool


Affordable and Supportive Housing for the Elderly, Liverpool

Mismatches Vulnerable groups Demographic/Urban growth
Policies and regulations Local policies Governance Public-private initiatives

Main objectives of the project

Liverpool's innovative housing strategy for the elderly underscores the vital importance of tailored housing solutions in promoting independence and well-being. By transitioning from traditional institutional care to community-oriented extra care housing, the city helps older adults maintain their social networks and quality of life. ACCESS Liverpool exemplifies the strategy's effectiveness, providing a streamlined, one-stop service for housing and care needs. This approach ensures that housing is not only affordable but also suitable for the residents, addressing their specific necessities and ensuring they live in secure, supportive environments that enhance their overall well-being.


  • 2000: Implementation


  • City of Liverpool
  • Liverpool Housing Action Trust
  • ACCESS Liverpool


Continent: Europe
City: Liverpool
Country/Region: Liverpool, United Kingdom


Affordable housing is not a one-fits-all solution. Each person might have their own needs and vulnerabilities that must be taken into an account if we want to build housing for all. One example of this specific groups is elderly people. Housing for older people requires a unique approach that addresses their specific needs, promotes independence, and enhances quality of life. Unlike the general population, older individuals often require accommodation that is adapted to their physical and health needs, provides access to care and support services, and allows them to remain active and engaged in their communities. Recognizing these needs, the City of Liverpool has implemented a strategic approach to housing for older people, focusing on moving away from institutional models towards more empowering and community-based solutions.

Several years ago, the City of Liverpool embarked on a comprehensive strategy to enhance accommodation options for its older residents. This initiative was rooted in the efforts of the Liverpool Housing Action Trust and various Registered Social Landlords (RSLs). In collaboration with the local authority, a report was commissioned from consultants in 2001, and the recommendations from this report were adopted by Liverpool’s strategic housing partnership. This strategy has since driven the redesign of housing, care, and support services across the city, aiming to empower older individuals to improve their quality of life and remain in their preferred homes and communities. A key element of this strategy is the development of extra care housing, providing a positive alternative to traditional residential care facilities, which are not cheap, without having to live without the needed care. Additionally, the city has established active ageing services to support this demographic further. By doing so, older people can still be living on their own and maintain their own community and social network. Making housing affordable also means making housing accessible for people, considering their specific necessities. In fact, the absence of services for this population tend to leave them in housing insecurity or living in sub-optimal conditions.

Another pivotal component of Liverpool's strategy is ACCESS Liverpool, a common allocation and advice service that began in 2000. ACCESS Liverpool manages a unified assessment and waiting list system for housing providers across the city, benefiting older and disabled individuals who need specialized accommodation. The service operates on behalf of a partnership of 24 housing providers, including the city council, and collaborates with key stakeholders such as Age Concern Liverpool and the Primary Care Trust (PCT).

ACCESS Liverpool features a small, dedicated team that oversees a common waiting list for sheltered accommodation, extra care housing, and accessible homes. This service has been well-received, as evidenced by satisfaction surveys, due to its efficiency in preventing older and disabled individuals from needing to approach multiple landlords. The strengths of ACCESS Liverpool include conducting home visits, encouraging discussions about individual needs and choices, and applying a single assessment methodology. In the 2006/07 period, ACCESS Liverpool successfully rehoused 366 people, including a significant portion who were homeless or facing serious issues. Currently, the waiting list includes 600 individuals seeking sheltered housing and another 600 looking for specially adapted dwellings. Thus, ACCESS works as a one-stop-shop for elderly and disable people that has become a great governance structure among social services and housing services providers.

Liverpool's approach demonstrates a comprehensive and collaborative effort to enhance housing options for older people, ensuring they receive the support and accommodations necessary to live independently and comfortably within their communities.