Following up its activities aiming to support smart ageing and independent living, Housing Europe joins a large scale proposal with the ambition to bring Internet of Things to the service of the elderly.
Social housing organisations throughout Europe accommodate over 26 million households of which greater that 15% are over 65 and vulnerable to isolation and social exclusion. While the needs of the sector are very heterogeneous and diverse across European member states, the recent HOST project identified three key strategies to address the needs of older Europeans:
- modernise the housing supply for senior people;
- break the digital divide for public social housing;
- promote cooperation and experimentation as keys to innovation.
The European Commission have recently closed a call for proposals for innovative large-scale pilots for the Internet of Things (IoT) to address global challenges including ageing well in smart, age-friendly housing. Within a consortium of over 45 organisations across Europe, Housing Europe proposes to participate in the evaluation and dissemination of an Irish ‘smart ageing in smart social housing’ pilot in over 500 homes amongst members of the Irish Council of Social Housing (ICSH).
The project combines both theory and evidence to provide an explanation of how IoT interventions work, in a manner that can help support policy, practice and implementation stakeholders to apply it to their own particular contexts throughout diverse European settings. Collaboration across housing, health and ICT enterprise innovation policy will be a key enabler to accelerate IoT market growth and development in the European social housing sector, and the project represents a unique opportunity to strengthen the evidence base to inform successful implementation pathways.