'Residential revolution' needed for ageing population

The Local Government Association (LGA) has said that specialist elderly homes will need to increase by 400,000 units in less than 20 years to match increasing demand.

The LGA analysis says that a ‘residential revolution’ is necessary to meet the demands of an ageing population, meaning that the number of specialist homes for older people will need to increase by 75 per cent by 2035. It is predicted that one in five of the overall population in England will be over 65 in a decades time.

Housing our ageing population is calling for the government to give councils the tools to deliver more housing that supports positive and healthy ageing, including planning powers and long term sustainable funding.

With approximately 80 per cent of the homes that we will inhabit in 2050 having already been built, the group contends that it is crucial that councils have sufficient funding to adapt existing housing. As present, a lack of affordable and ‘age-friendly’ homes is leaving retirees unable to move to more manageable accommodation.

Martin Tett, the LGA’s housing spokesman, said: “Our ageing population means that older people are an increasingly crucial part of our housing market. They now live in a third of all homes, and this is set to increase. Delivering quality housing that meets the needs of these older people is essential.

“Councils across the country are innovating when it comes to delivering housing for older people – from building new homes which are attractive to older people wanting to ‘right-size’, to ensuring housing is at the heart of integrated care. However, councils cannot tackle this issue alone. Support from government, which incentivises housebuilding and provides councils with the funding and resources they need, is crucial to our efforts to support positive ageing.”

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