HCA appoints new members to its Vulnerable and Older People Advisory Group

Published on Monday, 25 March 2013 10:16
Posted by Scott Buckler

Chairman of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Robert Napier, has today announced the new appointments to its specialist Vulnerable and Older People Advisory Group (VOPAG)

Among the new appointments is president of the Local Government Association (LGA), Lord Richard Best, who championed the high-profile Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (HAPPI). He also chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group which recently published its inquiry report, Housing our Ageing Population: Plan for Implementation (HAPPI2) which called for widespread adoption of best practice and HAPPI designs in housing for older people.

Also joining VOPAG are Jackie Adusei from Ekaya Housing Association, Roger Battersby from PRP Architects and Gary Day from McCarthy and Stone. A representative from the Department of Health is yet to be appointed.

VOPAG is one of four specialist Board Advisory Groups supporting the HCA's objectives and values, and providing focus and challenge to the Agency's work. VOPAG is chaired by Jeremy Porteus, Director of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network.

Robert Napier, Chairman of the HCA, said: "I am delighted to welcome our new members to VOPAG and I look forward to working with them on meeting the housing needs of our older and vulnerable population. Notably it's the first time a member of the House of Lords has joined one of our Board Advisory Groups, a reflection of how important this issue has become."

The HCA expects nearly 10% of the new Affordable Rent homes delivered through the £1.6bn Affordable Homes Programme will be supported housing and housing for older people. The Agency has also been tasked to deliver the Department of Health's Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund. This fund, with up to £240m of available investment, will help specialist housing providers bring forward proposals for development of housing to meet the needs of older people and adults with disabilities outside of London.

Lord Best said: "I'm delighted to be able to lend my support to the HCA on this vitally important subject and very much look forward to working with the Agency."

Chair Jeremy Porteus added: "I look forward to working with Lord Best and all our new members to help the HCA deliver the HAPPI homes and communities that vulnerable and older people want."

Jackie Adusei, Chief Executive of Ekaya Housing, said: "With support for vulnerable peoples support services being squeezed, joining VOPAG is a fantastic opportunity for me to champion and promote the continuing need for quality housing support initiatives for the communities we serve."

Roger Battersby, Managing Partner at PRP Architects, said: "After many years in the design and delivery of specialist housing, I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the sector in an advisory role."

Gary Day, Land & Planning Director for McCarthy & Stone, said: "The housing needs of older and vulnerable people are becoming increasingly important; indeed our ageing population is one of our greatest housing challenges. I hope to bring my experience to support the group's work in creating better, sustainable and inclusive housing options and communities for all members of our society."

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