McCarthy & Stone Welcomes Publication of The Independent Housing Commission Report

17 October 2014

McCarthy & Stone (‘the Company’), Britain’s leading retirement housebuilder, has responded to today’s publication of The Independent Housing Commission, the Lyons review into the future of housing, commissioned by the Labour Party.

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

“We are pleased to see the Lyons review look seriously at encouraging older people’s housing and we look forward to working with the Labour Party as they develop their policies further in this area.

“Meeting the housing needs of an ageing population must be a priority for any future government. A radical review of national housing, planning and development policy is required to deal with the fact that most of household growth will involve older people over the next 20 years. Housing policy cannot just be about first time buyers.

“The current planning system restrains supply of retirement housing as it is designed around the needs of general market housing, yet it offers a ‘win win’ for Government: retirement housing improves wellbeing, releases under-occupied family-sized homes and is highly sustainable, with nearly all of our developments being on brownfield land. With the right policy environment, this form of housing should become an essential part of UK housing output.”

 

For more information please contact:

McCarthy & Stone, 01202 292480

Paul Teverson, Head of Public Affairs and PR

Brunswick Group, 020 7404 5959

Craig Breheny / Alison Kay

 

Notes to Editors

  1. McCarthy & Stone is Britain’s leading retirement housebuilder, with a 70% share of the owner-occupied market. The Group has sold c. 50,000 homes across more than 1,000 schemes since 1977.
  2. The need for retirement housing is significant as the number of older people in the UK will rise from 11.4m in 2014 to 17.2 million in 2033.  58% of over-60s are interested in downsizing but feel restricted by a lack of suitable alternative housing or a fear of moving to an unfamiliar environment.   A quarter of over-60s expressed particular interest in buying a retirement property – a total of 3.5 million people – which dwarfs the c110,000 retirement properties available to purchase.
  3. McCarthy & Stone made a submission to the Commission’s review which made the following recommendations:
  • Recognise the role of downsizing in meeting the country’s housing needs, including the role of retirement housing;
  • Review the impact of affordable housing, S106 and CIL policies on retirement housing and how they are restricting the supply of this form of accommodation.
  • Consider piloting a scheme in England to lift affordable housing requirements on new housing for older people to encourage increased provision.
  • Oblige local authorities to proactively plan for specialist retirement housing.
  • Increase the pace of release of public-authority land banks for housing, including allocating it for retirement housing.
  • Ensure any ‘use it or lose it’ provision applies equally to public authorities.