New report urges the government to widen housing options for older people

A new survey reveals that nearly 90% of people think the government should widen housing options for older people, including those with care.

 

The survey, Coming of Age: Better Housing Options for Older People, conducted by the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) and Later Life Ambitions shines a spotlight on the wants and desires of older people and the conflicting options available to them.

 

Of those surveyed, 56% of older people are interested in moving, rising to 70% if to somewhere with care and support as an alternative to a care home, yet only 12% say their local area has enough downsizing options, including those with care.

 

Older people surveyed overwhelmingly supported government action to increase the provision of housingwith-care for older people and to address the shortfall in the UK’s provision when compared with countries such as the USA, New Zealand and Australia, where nearly ten times the level of provision exists.

 

Included in the report is a series of government recommendations, including:

  • Government should encourage the development of a wider range of housing options for older people, including those where care is available for those who need it
  • the government to work to develop alternatives to care homes, such as housing-with-care
  • A clear and unified approach and strategy from the government towards the Retirement Community sector to encourage growth
  • Improvements in the planning system to encourage the growth in specialist housing options for older people – especially those where care and support is available
  • The government and the sector to work together to improve clarity and certainty about the fees, charges and rules relating to moving into specialist older people’s housing, building on existing good practice in parts of the sector
  • For the sector to work with the government on introducing clarity in terminology for the different older people’s housing settings, and to provide more information to prospective residents
  • Whilst accepting the current fiscal restraints the government is under, for the application of stamp duty to these settings to be reviewed
  • For the Retirement Community Sector to assess demand in rural and village locations, alongside expanding provision in town and city centre settings

This latest report supports the ongoing campaigns from organisations across the sector calling for the government to provide accessible homes fit for the future. Most recently, the Housing Made for Everyone (HoME) coalition called on the public to back proposals for more accessible homes and the Centre for Ageing Better and The King’s Fund recently confirmed in its report Homes, Health and Covid-19 that there are 4.3 million ‘non-decent’ homes in England, putting the health and wellbeing of the estimated 10 million occupants at risk.

 

Read the full report


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