Tuesday, 09 February 2016

Ageing population is 'opportunity' for landlords

Britain’s rapidly ageing population and the radical restructure of the National Health Service presents housing with a unique commercial opportunity that could help attract new investment into the sector, a chief executive has claimed.

David Jepson, interim chief executive of Regenda, told delegates at the Chartered Institute of Housing conference in Manchester that the crisis facing the NHS was ‘massive’.

He cited trends charted by the OECD dependency ratio, which charts the number of people in employment against the number who are retired.

‘At the moment that ratio is 4.4. By 2050 it will be 2.2, in other words it will have halved. It means that the [first] group of people have to work twice as hard to generate the resources in order to support social services and health services,’ Mr Jepson said.

The Kings Fund estimates that by 2022 the NHS will be underfunded to the tune of £30 million a year, and over-75s already take up three times the NHS resources of a younger person. More importantly a ‘new and much more determined group’ of pensioners will expect a higher standard of care than previous generations.

Mr Jepson said it is up to housing associations to step in and help tackle the problem – and they will be rewarded in return.

‘Given the scale of the challenge, something dramatic is going to have to be done in order to be able to deliver the services that people need. I think the link with housing providers is one part of that solution.

‘There are real opportunities for housing associations here. There is a commercial opportunity because there are ways in which we can work with the health service to reduce costs to the NHS, which would enable some investment to be put back into the work we do.’

He said housing had a specific role to play in working with the NHS to tackle health challenges specific to individual neighbourhoods by working in those communities.

‘We tend to house people who are frequent fliers with the health service. There is huge demand coming from our stock. What we have got to demonstrate is not just that we are improving people’s wellbeing, but by doing that we are reducing real costs in the NHS.’

Readers' comments

Comments are only open to subscribers of Inside Housing

Already a subscriber?

If you’re already a subscriber to Inside Housing, your subscription may not be linked to your online account. You can link your subscription from within the My Account section of the website and clicking on Link My Account.

Not yet a subscriber?

If you don't yet subscribe to Inside Housing, please visit our subscription page to view our various subscription packages.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up



  • Ageing population a reminder of the need to go back to basics

    13 November 2015
  • Opportunity knocks

    29 July 2015

    Although they present organisations with difficult decisions, the government’s extensive housing reforms also offer opportunities for housing providers, says Jamie Ratcliff

  • Landlords to take on contracting giants

    24 April 2015

    Social landlords have joined forces in a bid to compete with the biggest companies for major public contracts.

  • Opportunity knocks


    The judges have chosen the three finalists of this year’s Rising Stars competition. Martin Hilditch finds out more about them

  • Missed opportunity

    19 March 2015

    The government should spend the £2bn it’s apparently ploughing into the Help to Buy ISA on boosting supply to really help end the housing crisis once and for all, says Waqar Ahmed

IH Subscription