Efficacy of telephone information and advice on housing for older people: a realist evaluation

Authors: Harding, A.

Conference: Housing Studies Association: Housing at the extremes: austerity, prosperity and systems change

Dates: 6-8 April 2016


Housing has long been regarded as a central pillar of welfare. In relation to older people and the ‘ageing in place’ agenda, housing is positioned as a means to enable and maintain older people’s independence. On this basis, information and advice (I&A) and decisions around housing in later life assume a great importance.

The Care Act (2014) made it a statutory obligation for local authorities to provide I&A on welfare, including on housing. The nature of I&A provision differs, but many local authorities’ signpost people to third sector services that are independent and impartial. In addition, evidence indicates that telephone services are a financially efficient service model.

But how do older people use formal I&A and what factors determine the effective use of I&A? Using a third sector telephone service as a case study, this doctoral study addresses these questions by using a realist evaluation approach. This focuses on ‘how, why, for whom and in what context’ information and advice is efficacious. The study, in the wider context of welfare consumerism, the realist evaluation approach and methods are outlined and on-going findings are presented.

Source: Manual

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