ILC-UK urges councils to prepare for retirement housing gap

The International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) has proposed that councils should be legally required to make sure there are an adequate number of surrounding retirement homes when making housing plans.

The think tank warned that nearly ninety per cent of 65-79 year-olds live in under-occupied housing, with half of these having two or more excess bedrooms. It further predicted that there could be a retirement housing gap of of 160,000 houses by 2030 if if current trends continue, increasing to 376,000 by 2050.

Baroness Sally Greengross, chief executive, ILC-UK, said: "The Housing Minister is right to recognise that meeting the needs of last time buyers and encouraging downsizing is crucial to addressing the housing crisis. Downsizing can also ensure that older people live in properties that allow them to stay in their own homes for longer, and can release equity that can be used to fund social care in later live.

"However, unless Government acts to encourage local authorities and developers to meet the needs of last time buyers, there could be a retirement housing gap of 160,000 retirement homes by 2030. If current trends continue, the gap could grow to 376,000 homes by 2050.

"Local Authorities must have a duty to assess the needs of their older population when making housing plans, and ensure that these needs are met before plans are put in place.

"Government should also consider what changes can be made to Stamp Duty to remove the perceived financial barrier of downsizing."