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  • Writer's pictureAndrew van Doorn OBE

Housing Taking the Lead in Long-Term Intergenerational Thinking

When it comes to intergenerational thinking, HACT is, and always has been, supporting the sector to pioneer new approaches. 

We support the housing sector to create positive social outcomes for residents and communities. We facilitate innovation and collaboration through our numerous services, projects, and partnerships. Ultimately, HACT aims to spearhead the long-term thinking within housing that supports transformation in our communities.  

How we ensure that all people benefit is important. And how we unlock the value and creativity between generations, is even more so.  

At HACT, we believe in bridging the gap between generations to create homes and communities that work for everyone. Intergenerational value is not just about immediate benefits; it is about recognising the long-term impact of fostering connections and integrated housing practices. By emphasising this ethos, we aim to enhance community cohesion, wellbeing, and a sense of belonging for all. 

We are proud to be a pioneer in this area – back in 2007 we launched a programme to explore how the housing sector can support work across different generations. Called age2age, the programme supported a range of community-based activity and homeshare programmes.  

Our Age Friendly Social Housing Programme, which we launched in 2022, continues this work. It is empowering social landlords and local agencies to improve opportunities and outcomes for the elderly. One of the learnings from the programme is that whilst we live in multi-generational families and communities throughout our lives, we don’t always design our work in communities to embrace and harness this.  

We are more likely to run programmes or deliver support aimed at different generations. Sometimes this can create silos. This means we don’t always unlock all the value and creativity across our whole communities. It can also create division and resentment. 

Working intergenerationally needs to be intentional. It needs careful thought and specific expertise. So, when we talk of intergenerational approaches, we see them as deliberate, thoughtful initiatives harnessing the connections between and among people all through their lives; an approach that recognises the value of diverse experiences and meaningful interactions that transcends age boundaries. 

Today, in collaboration with Intergenerational England, Housing LIN, Clarion Futures, and Sovereign Network Group, we're pioneering an innovative approach to measuring the social impact of intergenerational housing initiatives. We are developing an impact framework, built on HACT's robust and industry-leading social value metrics in the UK Social Value Bank, that will provide organisations with the tools to quantify the transformative effects of their work.  

We're ensuring that intergenerational projects yield tangible, long-term benefits for residents of all ages. And that we can plan for them, invest in them and then demonstrate the impact that we make through them. 

There is a huge amount of knowledge and expertise in our sector which we can harness through collaboration. By embracing intergenerational thinking as well as using our own experience alongside this wealth of knowledge, we're building a future that works for everyone.  

As we move forward, the Intergenerational Housing Steering Group will serve as a collaborative hub and a platform to leverage our expertise and experience for the benefit of communities nationwide. HACT is committed to intergenerational thinking, driving forward a vision of equality and inclusivity that spans generations. By championing this approach, we're not just meeting need, we’re laying the foundations for housing and communities where these issues no longer arise. 

I am proud to be leading an organisation that is on the road to bringing about lasting change, creating communities where individuals thrive, regardless of age or background. I know that we have more to do and more to learn, and I am looking forward to continuing this journey together. 

For more information about the Intergenerational Housing Steering Group, drop us a line:  


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