We attended the Plaid Cymru, Welsh Labour and Welsh Conservative conferences throughout March and April this year, asking the question ‘what are the housing challenges facing older people in Wales?’ to Members of the Senedd, Members of Parliament and Local Councillors.
Conversation varied between Party, but the cost of living and cost of maintaining a home came up frequently. We highlighted the knock-on effects of higher energy bills that we are seeing in the types of questions members of the public ring up to ask Care & Repair Agencies. We are receiving increasing calls about damp and mould, and in our Healthy Homes Check, which checks the home for hazards, we are increasingly coming across people living in homes with complex issues. In total, we were able to explain directly to over a third of the Members of the Senedd how Care & Repair can help their constituents, and how they can help us by advocating for more support for Care & Repair.
We had the opportunity to speak to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak briefly and to explain to him the current needs in Wales. He told us that “keeping people independent through adaptations is so important.”
We also gave out copies of our report ‘The State of Older People’s Housing in Wales’ and our Hospital to a Healthier Home Evaluation ‘Three Years On’ and had good conversations around key policy themes including housing disrepair and hospital discharge. And lots of pens were given out, too!
Overall, it was great to get out on the road and see not only Wales but chat with influential decision makers about the challenges Care & Repair and our clients are facing. A number of people at all Party conferences came up to our stand to tell us about their positive experience of receiving home adaptations from Care & Repair, which was great to hear.
Faye Patton, Policy Manager