Use retirement communities to meet housing needs

Care Minister Caroline Dinenage has claimed that retirement communities have a major role to play in meeting the housing and care needs of our ageing population.

Speaking to 500 leaders of the housing-with-care sector at ARCO’s What Next? 2019 Conference in London, Dinenage said that housing-with-care (commonly referred to as retirement communities) has never played a more important role in health and social care, helping to keep older people healthier, more active and less lonely, as well as freeing up family homes.

Now that care homes are increasingly focused on end-of-life care, the Care Minister added that retirement communities fill the gap between living independently at home and care homes, suggesting that the Social Care Green Paper will outline the role operators can play and that the government is committed to helping to expand the supply of retirement communities. This includes looking at measures such as a clearer definition for planners and appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks which guarantees residents’ rights.

These sentiments were echoed in a message from Housing Minister Kit Malthouse, who called on the sector to be ambitious in its expansion plans, particularly in the mid-market and that he expected local authorities to take much more account of the housing needs of older people in their local plans and in identifying suitable sites.

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