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Is co-living a housing solution for vulnerable older people?

Our final report for the Nationwide Foundation and the Nationwide Building Society was published in 2019. A summary report is also available.

Our research looked at how co-living might help older people to age in place given the increasing pressures placed on the UK by a growing ageing population. With loneliness and isolation exacerbating the vulnerabilities of older people, co-living, an alternative model of housing which seeks to promote social contact through the living environment, has been presented as a possible housing solution for vulnerable older people.

We looked at three different types of co-living for older people, exploring the benefits, obstacles and the surrounding regulatory frameworks, as well as talking to people living in, or responsible for, the case study co-living types.

The research concluded that, although the models all offered positive benefits for older people, development in the UK has been limited, and lags behind that of other European countries and the USA.  The main barriers to more extensive development of co-living schemes in the UK were identified as the time and resource-intensive nature of setting up a co-living scheme, and a lack of general awareness of co-living. More formal incorporation of co-living schemes into planning policy at both a national and local level had the potential to promote the benefits of co-living to a wider audience and to increase engagement with potential facilitators.

A summary report is also available.

 

Authors

Valentine Quinio

Dr Gemma Burgess

Publication Date

August 2019