Thursday, 19 January 2017

Call for national task force on retirement housing

A national task force should be set up to focus on increasing the supply of retirement housing, a report has recommended.

United for All Ages, a social enterprise which aims to bring younger and older people together, has today outlined 20 ideas to “promote intergenerational equity”.

A number of the ideas relate to housing and care, including a suggestion of a new task force on retirement housing.

Jane Ashcroft, chief executive of housing association Anchor, is quoted in the report backing the idea. She said: “I firmly believe the government should create a national task force of developers, ministers and local government to produce a national strategy for increasing retirement housing supply.” Ms Ashcroft said this would reduce resentment felt by some younger people who feel they are prevented from accessing homes by ‘bed-blocking’ older people.

The report also suggested older and younger people should be encouraged to live together through home share schemes. Alex Fox, chief executive of Shared Lives Plus, a network which offers home share services, said that the scheme can address issues of loneliness among the elderly community as well as young people who are unable to afford housing. Mr Fox said: “Home share could not only create intergenerational fairness, but mutual support and respect across the generational divide.”

Other ideas suggested in the report include building 300,000 homes a year, with a mix of affordable rent, Starter Homes and retirement housing.

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