Multi-borough Community Based Research Programme London Rebuilding Society Healthy Homes, Healthy Lives (HHHL) Trailblazer project (Innovate UK), in collaboration with London School of Economics

Housing OrganisationsThird Sector Community Engagement & InsightHousing & NeighbourhoodThird Sector & Social Enterprise

Multi-borough Community Based Research Programme

London Rebuilding Society (LRS) is a not-for-profit social enterprise leading a partnership to deliver the Healthy Homes, Healthy Lives (HHHL) programme. The programme supports homeowners who cannot afford to have their home improved. HHHL’s objective is to enable older people to stay independent for longer than expected and to offer choices and options as their circumstances change, including their care in later life. It offers access to products and services commonly only available to the better off:  access to home improvements, retrofit, renewables adaptations, and in-home smart technology. The programme is funded by Innovate UK as part of its Healthy Aging programme, which supports businesses and social enterprises to develop and deliver beneficial products and services to help people remain active and independent for as long as possible.

Mobilise was appointed by LRS to undertake a community-based research programme to gain a deeper understanding of how it can best reach low-income homeowners and the issues they face around much-needed home repairs, mobility adaptations and other improvements.

The research programme was rolled out in selected London boroughs where low-income homeowners and homes built prior to 1945 in poor condition are most concentrated. Mobilise built local partnerships with voluntary sector organisations in each borough to provide information about HHHL and reach out to potential beneficiaries who might be interested in the programme.  We also engaged with older homeowners and their intermediaries – families, carers, and those who support them – and invited them to attend a research event and find out more about HHHL.

Mobilise conducted a series of focus groups and surveys during the homeowner engagement events to collect data and in-depth knowledge of local housing issues. We found that in the boroughs targeted, most individuals would like to stay in their homes, however, they do not have the financial means to improve their homes and make them fit for purpose as they age. The research focused on themes such as homeowners’ main structural and home condition issues, obstacles to obtaining finance and feelings about both embarking on a home improvement project and different forms of financing. Mobilise provided LRS with a report for each borough, analysing the feedback and insights gained from the research to help them continue to develop the Healthy Homes, Healthy Lives programme.