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Affordable warmth: Housing strategies for older people

Affordable warmth: Housing strategies for older people

Stewart, Jill Louise ORCID: 0000-0002-3031-8082 and Dhesi, Surindar Kishen (2016) Affordable warmth: Housing strategies for older people. Housing, Health and Care, 19 (1). pp. 23-31. ISSN 1460-8790 (Print), 2042-8375 (Online) (doi:

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The purpose of this paper is to consolidate policy, research, evidence and good practice around strategies tackling fuel poverty and affordable warmth for older people aged over 60 to support the development of more effective services for this life course stage and to tackle physical and mental health inequalities.


We consolidate current policy, research, evidence and examples of good practice in exploring effective interprofessional approaches that contribute to affordable warmth for older people through ‘desktop analysis’. We support this with qualitative data from Health and Wellbeing Boards, health inequalities and environmental health from research comprising 4 longitudinal case studies in the Midlands and North of England over 18 months and semi structured interviews with members and support officers. A total of 50 interviews were undertaken and 55 hours of Health and Wellbeing Board meetings observed.


There are numerous older people living in fuel poverty. The depth of fuel poverty increases with age particularly the over 75s and physical and mental ill health are affected. There are an increasing number of tools to help estimate health care costs around the cost effectiveness of interventions and there is a real need for more local evidence about what is working well, how and why. However there is no mandatory requirement for fuel poverty strategies and more creative local strategies are required taking organisational and interprofessional relationships into account. The emphasis in integrated care provides new impetus and scope to encourage preventative services but these new partnerships need to be effective in what is a complex policy environment. There is still a long way to go in places. The challenges of ageing are numerous, complex and not fully understood and sit across multiple policy areas.


Fuel poverty strategies tend to be delivered on a geographical or income bases rather than by life course approach and a focus on older people. We need to focus more specifically on older people, a rapidly growing population and to better understand thermal properties of our ageing housing stock and how best to intervene to protect and improve health and safety. Emerging approaches need to overcome artificial statutory and non statutory divides and move toward sustainable, evidence based affordable warmth strategies for older people to protect and improve health.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Older people, Energy efficiency, Housing and health, Affordable warmth, Cold homes, Fuel poverty
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2023 07:27

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