Retirement housing shortfall revealed
Published on 13 April 2012 01:30 PM
Not enough retirement housing is being built to meet demand in the UK, a charity has claimed.
A YouGov survey commissioned by Shelter revealed that while more than a third of older people would consider moving into retirement housing at some point in their life, housing developers are not building this type of accommodation.
The charity claimed many developers were avoiding retirement projects because of fears over costs and the complexity involved in such developments.
It went on to reveal that in order to meet demand, developers would have to increase the amount of retirement housing they build by 70% in the coming two decades.
The charity's A Better Fit report explores what housing options people aged 55 and over have, and calls on local bodies to take a more strategic approach to older people's housing, and to reflect older people in their housing market needs assessments.
Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: 'High quality housing in the right places, with support or care facilities available where needed, can help older people live healthy, active lives. Developers, planners and central Government must urgently look at ways to deliver housing that meet the needs of this growing group.'
The report went on to reveal that a third of the population in England will be aged 55 and over by 2030.
Michelle Mitchell, Age UK Charity Director General, commented: 'We would echo the call made by Shelter for the need for more affordable housing options and an increase in the supply of housing which currently is failing to meet the demands of a growing population.
'The issue that people face when they are considering moving is the lack of choice, information and viable options available to them; better use of the existing housing stock could be made by offering older people attractive and affordable alternatives in the right places.
'People, old or young, should not feel forced or pressurised to leave their homes, and for those who do decide to move, there needs to be suitable alternative accommodation available to meet their individual needs.'
Copyright Press Association 2012