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Social landlords urged to bid for technology funding to make homes ‘care ready’

Housing associations and local authorities are being invited to apply for grants of £75,000 so they can test out with older people which technology tools and digital housing services work best for them and explore why.

The funding is part of the Technology for our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (TAPPI) project – led by the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN), the TEC Services Association (TSA) and funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust – which is calling for ‘care-ready’ digital infrastructure to be woven into the fabric of all new and retrofitted homes, right from design stage.

The first phase of TAPPI concluded in 2021, examining current practice and then setting out ten practical principles for using technology in housing and care for older people. The second phase will trial the use of these principles in people’s homes over a 12 to 15-month period.

A wide range of organisations, including providers of social housing, supported living services, grouped living schemes and step-down dwellings that support reablement are all eligible to apply for funding to become demonstrator sites, as are those that support older people to live independently at home.

Four organisations will each be awarded a grant of £75,000 so they can try out different mainstream and specialist technologies with older people, gathering their feedback.

Jeremy Porteus, CEO of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN) said: ‘I am really excited about TAPPI2 and embedding the principles identified in last year’s Inquiry into practice. With co-production at the heart of TAPPI, we’re keen to work with older people to find out what technology-enabled care and housing solutions support them best. The results will offer vital information on how technology can be better applied in homes for our ageing population.’

Alyson Scurfield, CEO of the TEC Services Association (TSA) added: ‘Although some housing providers are already supporting older people through tech, it’s a patchwork of provision, not an organised or transformational system, adopted across the sector. We want to change that through TAPPI, testing digital solutions and then creating guidance, standards and a widely accepted framework so housing providers, architects and builders can integrate tech into housing and make life more fulfilling for our ageing population.’

Photo supplied by TAPPI

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