the past year, more than any other, has brought into sharp focus the need for age-friendly communities and the suitable accommodation which facilitates these
In November last year we published our priorities for the next five years in a new strategic framework. This will see us take a thematic approach to funding – in, what we hope, will be a more focused approach to supporting under-funded areas, as well as being clearer to prospective applicants as to what we are looking to fund. We were receiving an ever-increasing volume of applications, which inevitably led to diminishing success rates and rejection of high-quality applications. We are acutely aware of the effort it takes for applicants and their teams to submit research proposals and, while there will always be an element of stiff competition when budgets are limited, we hope the themed approach will help to address some of these issues. We will also be trialling some ways of encouraging the research community to work collaboratively with those delivering care and services for older people.
Our chosen theme for this new call is one which we believe addresses an issue of real relevance and importance just now. A plethora of research already tells us of the link between suitable housing and a healthier and well-supported later life. But we are not yet seeing the radical systemic change that is clearly needed to deliver this. In the words of Professor Sir Michael Marmot, “Unsuitable housing is strongly associated with poor health, both physical and mental” and the past year, more than any other, has brought into sharp focus the need for age-friendly communities and the suitable accommodation which facilitates these, as well as helping to maintain functional independence. The current context also provides a real opportunity to identify and showcase innovative good practice and develop the evidence base in this area – and to present ideas for what the future of housing for older people could look like.
For further details, please visit our Apply for funding page.