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Election response from McCarthy Stone - Labour can make older people the 'silver saviours' of society

John Tonkiss, CEO of McCarthy Stone, the UK’s leading developer and manager of retirement communities has responded to Labour’s election victory

CEO John Tonkiss
News and community
Posted 04 July 2024
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Responding to Labour's election victory, John Tonkiss, CEO of McCarthy Stone, the UK's leading developer and manager of retirement communities said:

"We congratulate Sir Keir Starmer MP and the Labour party on their victory, but the hard work starts now.

"Labour must use its mandate to ensure older people are no longer the forgotten part of the policy debate, particularly when it comes to housing and care. Many of those aged 75 and over want to move somewhere better suited to their changing needs, but too often they find that they are left with no choice but to move into residential care. The UK needs a revolution in its delivery of high-quality housing suitable for its ageing population, be it more bungalows, retirement communities, better care options or incentives to downsize.

"That's why McCarthy Stone is calling on Ministers to swiftly implement the recommendations made by the Older People's Housing Taskforce and to reform the National Planning Policy Framework to ensure an adequate supply of older people's housing.

"Moving to a home better suited to their needs is not only good for older people, it addresses many of society's challenges; it will help get Britain building again, it will unlock investment and growth, it will free up existing homes for younger people, and it will reduce pressure on the NHS. The new Labour Government can help older people to become our silver saviours"

Estimates show that a quarter of older people - around 3 million people - want to downsize*, and that the number of over 75s will grow by 38% by 2040**. To help raise the focus on the housing and care needs of older people, McCarthy Stone is writing to the new ministers to call for them to:

  1. Act on the recommendations made by the Older People's Housing Taskforce, which submitted its report to the last Government in May 2024. While the report was commissioned under the last government, it should not be ignored. It is the blueprint to change delivery rates in the retirement sector from c.7,000 new properties a year currently to meet the estimated demand for 30,000.
  2. As part of Labour's commitment to update the National Planning Policy Framework, in the first 100 days of power, ensure that the revisions provide greater prominence for the need for older people's housing to unblock supply of new specialist accommodation.
  3. To help older people with the costs of moving, introduce a stamp duty exemption for those downsizing into retirement housing to encourage moving in later life and free up existing stock, plus ensure better access to information and advice services.
  4. Require Homes England to ensure that 10% of its housing delivery is designated for older people and expand its Older People's Shared Ownership scheme to increase the provision of affordable housing and care options for those in later life.

 

* Report-2-Final.pdf (housinglin.org.uk)

**JLL, Senior Housing Report, 2024

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