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2016 National Retired Members Conference
2 June 2016
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that according to a report published by the Building Research Establishment “Homes and Ageing in England” more than 2 million older people live in homes that fail to meet the Decent Homes Standard, with 1.3 million in homes with a serious hazard resulting in additional and unnecessary costs to the NHS, particularly from cold related health problems and falls. The report also highlights the lack of properties amongst the existing stock that fail to meet the needs of an ageing population.

We are currently facing the worst housing and care crisis for generations with rising house prices, fewer affordable homes and many older people facing poverty, insecurity and an uncertain future in sub-standard private rented accommodation. The need for affordable homes to rent within mixed sustainable communities has never been greater. Yet the Housing and Planning Act 2016 Housing Bill, which will force registered social landlords to sell their housing stock under the right to buy, will further reduce the number of houses available to rent and reduce the amount of suitable accommodation available for older people. Many who want to remain in their own homes are faced with inadequate home care and the lack of suitable accommodation contributes to delayed discharge of older patients from hospital.

Conference welcomes the resolution of National Delegate Conference 2016 – Composite B Housing Crisis – which has committed UNISON to oppose the act in its entirety and to campaign for:

1. A large and well-funded stock of social housing that provides secure tenancies and good quality homes;

2. Better regulation of the private rented sector ;

3. Better and more secure jobs that allow people to be able to afford to rent or buy a good home;

4. More affordable homes to be build; and,

5. More accessible housing for people with disabilities.

Conference therefore calls upon the National Retired Members’ Committee to:

(a) liaise with the National Executive Council, Labour Link, the National Pensioners’ Convention and the Scottish Pensioners’ Forum, to campaign for improved housing for older people, and.

(b) Use the electronic replacement for Interactive to promote campaigning initiatives to retired members, keep them up to date and encourage them to take part in the campaign.