In 2014 Stirling Council and the Scottish Futures Trust commissioned Stirling University to undertake research into the housing needs of older owner occupiers. Following a well-attended seminar of housing and social work professionals in January 2015, the report of the research was published in February 2015.

Reasons for moving:

One motivation for undertaking the research was that there are significant numbers of older owner occupiers who are applying for and being allocated Council houses. The reasons for wanting to move can be many and varied – some older people are stuck in lower value properties, possibly ex Council houses, that do not meet their needs as they grow older; some have a house that is too big, is up a close or has unmanageable stairs either inside or out.

Barriers to moving:

Older owner occupiers may have tried to get an aid or an adaptation but that has proved to be unfeasible or not a complete answer. There may not be suitable, alternative market housing available. They may not have enough equity in their existing home to fund the purchase of a new home. There may be fears about getting into the stressful process of buying and selling houses.

Findings:

The research – which included interviews with 100 older people – explores many of these issues and concludes that there is a need for older owners in lower value properties to move to more appropriate accommodation, preferably within their own community. These findings were discussed at the seminar in January which concluded that to make this happen there is a need for better advice, information and support for older owners and for The Scottish Government to develop a shared equity model, similar to ‘help to buy’ and ‘help to adapt’, which can bridge the gap between the resale price of an existing house and the selling price of a new home.

For downloads of the summary report and main report please click here