Planning toolkit launched for Later Life Housing

12 December 2012

Housing in later life toolkit. Planning ahead for speacialist housing for older people

Download the toolkit: Housing in later life: planning ahead for specialist housing for older people.

A consortium of housing partners has come together to launch Housing in Later Life: Planning Ahead for Specialist Housing for Older People.

The toolkit is designed to assist local government with planning for specialist housing for older people as part of an overall strategy on older people’s housing, care and support. Despite predictions that 60%* of all new household growth by 2033 will be by those aged over 65, and the fact that over a third** of older people would be interested in the idea of retirement housing, figures show*** that building of specialist homes for older people is now lower than the 1980s, with less than 2000 built for sale in 2010.

The consortium, which includes McCarthy & Stone, the National Housing Federation, the Housing Learning and Improvement Network, Contact Consulting and Tetlow King Planning, will launch the toolkit at the Extra Care Annual Conference on 12 December.  It follows the report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Older People entitled Housing our Ageing Population: Plan for Implementation (HAPPI2). The report found that it is important that older people are offered choice and opportunity in old age, which includes the right housing and care solutions at the appropriate time.

The toolkit is designed to help local planning authorities in four key ways:

1)    To help local planning authorities plan for and deliver the appropriate level and type of    
       specialist housing for older people to improve housing choice for a growing ageing

2)    To highlight the benefits of specialist housing for older people and the ways in which
        local officers can work with housing providers to tackle some of the challenges in
        delivering this form of housing.

3)    To provide a route map for local planners to navigate how the new planning and
       development regime in England can be used to improve housing options for older people.

4)    To encourage local authorities to join up planning, housing and social care policy.

Amy Swan, Policy Officer, National Housing Federation, said: 

“Integrating housing with health and social care can enable older people to live independently and with dignity - and housing associations that provide specialist housing are crucial in making this happen.

“As people grow older their lifestyle, health and income may change. So it’s vital that we have a housing market that can provide a host of options for people in later life. This toolkit will help planning authorities build the right kind of housing in the right places for older people.”

Speaking at Investing in Solutions: Making it Happen conference, Jeremy Porteus - Director of the Housing LIN and APPG Inquiry Secretary – told the 300 delegates:

“This toolkit is an essential resource for those of you developing your planning proposition for an ageing population. It makes the case for creating the conditions that can both support the development specific housing for older people and reward the wider housing market. ”

Gary Day, director of land and planning at McCarthy & Stone
, commented:

“We very much welcome the findings of the HAPPI2 report, and so I am pleased that we can play our part with our partners to launch this toolkit which offers practical ways to ensure that the recommendations of HAPPI2 are implemented throughout the country.”

Nigel Appleton, Principal of Contact Consulting
, said:

"I believe the toolkit will help those working in health, housing and social care in their dialogue with planning colleagues and other stakeholders.  It will support their evaluation of the benefits of specialised housing and quantify the supply needed to offer older people real choice and appropriate options."

Robin Tetlow, Chairman of Tetlow King Planning, commented:

“We are very pleased to be associated with this toolkit.  It offers simple practical advice to local authorities. Hopefully it will result in greater innovation; and enable the delivery of both a greater quantum and a wider diversity of housing and care solutions tailored to local demands and needs.”

Copies of the toolkit can be downloaded from the Housing LIN website

For more information:
McCarthy & Stone
Andrew Baud,, 020 3397 3383 or 07775 715775

Julian Hargood, , 020 3397 3383 or 07521 907919

Becky Charman, 020 3397 3383 or 07957 474568

National Housing Federation
Rob Szmigielski,, 0207 067 1146

Contact Consulting
Nigel J W Appleton,, 01865 880466 or 07785 298979

Housing Learning and Improvement Network
Jeremy Porteus,, 07899 652626

Tetlow King Planning
Robin Tetlow,, 0117 9561916


Notes to Editors

About McCarthy & Stone
McCarthy & Stone is Britain’s leading builder of retirement apartments, responsible for the construction of more than 40,000 homes for more than 45,000 residents.  The company is renowned for its focus on the needs of people in later life.

As part of its commitment to changing attitudes in the sector, McCarthy & Stone this year launched the Greater Life Advisory Board - a non-executive advisory board which is helping the company to champion a ‘greater life in later life’ and to consider a range of key age-related issues.  

About The National Housing Federation
The National Housing Federation is the voice of affordable housing in England. We believe that everyone should have the home they need at a price they can afford. That’s why we represent the work of housing associations and campaign for better housing.

Our members provide two and a half million homes for more than five million people. And each year they invest in a diverse range of neighbourhood projects that help create strong, vibrant communities.

About the Housing LIN
Previously responsible for managing the Department of Health’s Extra Care Housing Fund, the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN) is the leading ‘learning lab’ for a growing network of 46,000 housing, health and social care professionals in England involved in planning, commissioning, designing, funding, building and managing housing, care and support services for older people and vulnerable adults with long term conditions.

For further information about the Housing LIN’s comprehensive list of online resources and shared learning and service improvement opportunities, including site visits and network meetings in your region, visit or follow us on Twitter at @HousingLIN.

About Contact Consulting
Contact Consulting is a specialist research and consultancy practice working at the intersection of health, housing and social care with expertise in relation to owner-occupation for older people, housing adaptations and assistive technology, specialised accommodation for older people and vulnerable adults and a wide range of issues around the needs of people with mental health issues or learning disabilities. The practice was formed in 1995 and has counted the European Commission, Whitehall departments and UK regional governments among its clients, along with both commissioners and providers from statutory, commercial and third sectors together with policy bodies such as the King’s Fund and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. A full account of the work of Contact Consulting and the publications of Nigel Appleton and other members of the practice may be found on its website:

About Tetlow King Planning
Tetlow King Planning is a leading planning consultancy with specialist expertise in promoting residential and care developments for older persons.  Our nationwide experience spans the public and private sectors.

Our involvement encompasses various types and combinations of sheltered housing, extra care housing, care homes and continuing care retirement communities. We have previously prepared relevant good practice guidance for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Planning Officers Society.

*DCLG 2011

**YouGov for Shelter February 2012

*** Elderly Accommodation