McCarthy & Stone welcomes new report by MPs calling for a national strategy on housing for older people

09 February 2018

McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder, has welcomed today’s report by a group of leading MPs for a new national strategy for older people’s housing. Members of the Communities and Local Government Committee have called on Government to bring together and improve policy affecting this area and have made the following recommendations:

  • More specialist retirement housing should be built to address a shortfall of supply, which they estimate to be around 15,000 to 25,000 units each year.
  • Recognition that retirement housing promotes the health and wellbeing of older people, leading to savings in spending on health and social care, and for this to be addressed in the forthcoming social care green paper.
  • Amendments to national and local planning legislation, with new guidance to encourage the development of more housing options for older people, including identifying a target for new housing for older people and a dedicated use class.
  • A national strategy for older people’s housing to bring together and improve policy.
  • More consideration given to the feasibility of building bungalows.

Clive Fenton, Chief Executive of McCarthy & Stone, said:

"Retirement housing has a hugely positive impact on the well-being of older people, creating happier, healthier and longer lives. It also tackles two of the biggest domestic issues facing the country: the need to free up housing supply and reduce pressures on health and social care services.

"Despite the significant demand for specialist retirement housing, only c.157,000 retirement properties* for homeowners have ever been built in this country due to the many regulatory challenges that block provision. We are pleased to see that the Committee recognises that as a country we are falling woefully short in the provision of this form of housing, and we call on Government to urgently take on board the MPs’ recommendations to invigorate supply in this critical part of the housing market."

Benefits of retirement housing:

  • Freeing up under-occupied housing that families and younger people could move into would release some of the 10 million empty bedrooms in the homes of older people by 2026.**
  • McCarthy & Stone homeowners report huge health benefits: almost nine out of ten say moving improved their quality of life and, as a result, they have fewer visits to health professionals and return home more easily after stays in hospital.***
  • Government research shows that each person who lives in specialist retirement housing saves c.£3,500 a year in health and social care bills.****
  • Helps address the housing needs of a rapidly ageing population. 11.8m people are aged 65 or over, with a 47% increase predicted by 2027.*****

Clive Fenton, Chief Executive of McCarthy & Stone, is available for comment and interview on 9 February 2018. Please contact Mazar Masud/Victoria Heslop/Chloe Rutland for more information on mccarthyandstone@powerscourt-group.com and +44 (0)20 7250 1446.

Sources

* Elderly Accommodation Counsel (2017)
** Intergenerational Foundation, Hoarding of Housing (2011)
*** Surveys by McCarthy & Stone (2016)
**** Homes and Communities Agency (2010). Figures updated for inflation.
***** ONS (2017)

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