Skip to main content

Approaches to meeting the needs of minority groups in extra care housing

Report, case studies | February 2010

This report, prepared for the Housing Learning and Improvement Network by the Institute of Public Care, examines the best ways for commissioners and providers of extra care housing (ECH) to identify and meet the needs of minority groups of older people within their community. The report focuses on the black and minority ethnic (BME) population, but a more general survey of the sorts of minority groups likely to be identified and the overall approaches commissioners need to take is also provided.

The report begins by identifying minority groups in the older population, including those defined by ethnicity, faith or sexual orientation, or by particular conditions such as visual impairment or mental health problems. It sets out some of the needs specific to those groups, and the challenges their needs present for commissioners. It also establishes legislative and policy considerations, given an older population that is becoming increasingly diverse, and the move towards personalisation in services generally.

The second part of the report looks specifically at means of assessing and meeting demand in the BME community, including:

  • Monitoring changing needs over time;
  • Identifying gaps in current provision; and
  • Developing consultation mechanisms with, and actively promoting ECH to, the target community.

Key principles of service design are then addressed, specifically whether ECH provision for minority communities is better commissioned as a separate, culturally-specific service, or within mainstream services that are flexible enough to be ‘culturally sensitive’.

Finally, the experiences of three case study authorities are analysed – two with significant BME populations, one without – each of which has tended towards culturally sensitive rather than culturally specific provision.

For further information please contact Juliet Bligh at IPC


Tel: 01225 484088