Charities to call for improved housing of older homeless

The lack of attention paid to the housing needs of older people is to be combated by a new coalition of three homelessness charities.

The Coalition Older Homelessness Project will lobby policy makers and providers to think more creatively about how to help older homeless people. Members include Help the Aged, Crisis, Homeless Link and the Housing Associations Charitable Trust.

Research by the agencies has found that 30 per cent of older homeless people were in unsuitable short-term hostel beds for more than a year.

At the same time, there is much sheltered housing that is not being used.

Joe Oldman, housing needs manager at Help the Aged, said: "The project is about helping older homeless people gain access to suitable permanent housing. It's also about making sure this is accompanied by the right level of help, support and social contact.

"It will contribute to making a real difference to the lives of isolated and homeless older people."

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