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Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research


The reports present the findings from an ongoing evaluation by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, which is analysing and informing the development of the FirstStop service. The new initiative aims to provide older people, their families and carers with a one-stop shop for advice on issues like home improvements and care. Users can call on a freephone number, or visit a website, to obtain independent, impartial information and advice on housing, care options, their rights and financial support. FirstStop also provides face to face advice and assistance locally e.g. helping older people to move to a more suitable home.

A comprehensive information and advice service enabling older people to better plan ahead for their future housing and care needs is a key requirement if Britain is to cope successfully with its ageing society. The evaluation of FirstStop shows how it is helping older people to make difficult decisions about their housing and care. 

Welcoming the study, Housing Minister Grant Shapps said: 

“With nearly a fifth of our population expected to be over 65 by 2020, it’s crucial that help and support be available to ensure everyone can make informed choices about their future housing needs. 

“Today’s report demonstrates how the FirstStop scheme, backed with £1.5 million Government cash, is providing exactly the kind of advice that people need. And with an additional £20million Disabled Facilities Grant funding available to help with adaptations and extensions, I hope more older people wanting to continue living comfortably in their own homes will be able to do so.” 


Dr Gemma Burgess

Sarah Monk

Professor Christine Whitehead

Publication Date

15th December 2011