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23 May 2013

CHC responds to Welsh Government's Older People's Strategy (Phase 3)

The Welsh Government has launched its Strategy for Older People in Wales (Phase 3).

The strategy focuses on the challenges currently facing the older population in Wales and the actions organisations and other key partners should take to improve the lives of older people.

Responding to the Strategy, Matt Kennedy, Policy Officer for Community Housing Cymru said: "The strategy strongly captures, from a bottom up approach, what is important to much of the older population. It is highly encouraging to see a strategy that relates clear actions and desirable outcomes in relation to what is important to this audience.

The aim of ensuring that older people have access to housing and services that supports their needs and promotes independence by 2023 should be strongly welcomed. We understand this as a holistic approach involving housing, health, social care and third sector organisations which should be underpinned by collaboration to offer people the flexibility, information and support required in a timely and accessible manner.

Some of the other key areas covered such as employment, transport, living in the community and energy are also areas that will clearly sustain independence and promote individual wellbeing as people age.

We are pleased to see that the Welsh Government will be monitoring take-up of Moneyline Cymru loans by older people. Although in the past older people have typically taken a traditional save-to-spend approach to financing their lives, the down turn in the economy has meant that many are turning to credit for emergencies and even to cover basics. Furthermore, when it becomes necessary to borrow money, older people are often forced to borrow from doorstep lenders as they have not previously built up a credit rating or operated a current account.

Moneyline Cymru is a not for profit affordable loans company set up and part funded by housing associations. 16% of their customers are aged 50 and over and it is expected that number will rise as people find it more difficult to manage after retirement. Moneyline Cymru also provides a money advice service for customers focusing on welfare and income maximisation.

Community Housing Cymru looks forward to working with the Welsh Government on the relevant actions identified within the delivery plans associated with the strategy.''