Government must listen to Shelter or face housing crisis

"Housing for older people in the UK is simply not being planned, built or thought through by government.  It is a travesty and will lead to long-term social problems and a government induced crisis.”

"By 2030, one in three people in the UK will be over 55 – and as things stand, the supply of appropriate housing to accommodate this ageing population needs to rise by over 70% in the next 20 years. Shockingly, there are very few specialist homes with support services available – just 533,000 and much of it in the social rented arena. There is also very little mid range housing available to rent privately or buy and a huge shortage of bungalows, which suit people with mobility issues.

"And, whilst many people are living alone in ‘under occupied’ houses, which if sold would  release much needed family housing stock – it is unrealistic for the government to think people will downsize without incentives like tax breaks and with so little choice of alternative housing available.

"We also agree with Shelter that developers find housing for older people complex to plan and costly to deliver and that the planning system simply does not support the development of houses for older people.  However, these problems aren’t new – they have existed for years and subsequent governments have failed to address them.

"We also think that National Planning Policy Framework provides an opportunity for government to change things – to plan and build the much needed range of homes for older people. If it doesn’t take this opportunity, we fear there will be serious social problems ahead.

"We have seen enquiries for our retirement rental properties rise by 13% over the past few years together with a growing demand for more diverse housing options.  We recognise that an independent and fit 64 year old is not going to have the same needs as a less mobile 85 year old. Our apartments accommodate both needs. They are designed for people who want to live independently but who might want to access support services, such as the 24 hour Careline in their apartment as they get older.  There are also a range of different options available enabling people to choose whether they want to rent on lifetime tenancies, assured shorthold tenancies or buy their property. Everyone is different and we try to cater to their needs.”

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