New Housing LIN and Shakespeare Martineau report looks at UK later living sector

The Housing LIN, in conjunction with law firm Shakespeare Martineau, have published their new report, Shining a Spotlight on the Hidden Housing Market, based on a survey of senior figures from the UK later living sector.

During January 2019, a survey was conducted across the UK’s later living sector. The 200 survey respondents came from a variety of backgrounds, and included local authorities, registered providers, private developers, care operators and businesses in the charity and voluntary sector, as well as architects and designers.

The key findings from the survey include:

  • 97% of respondents agree that the development of later living accommodation will play a key role in alleviating the housing crisis.
  • 73% believe the demand for later living accommodation will significantly increase over the next five years.
  • 25% of respondents are unsure as to whether they are following HAPPI principles.
  • 90% of respondents are calling for more government funding incentives to bring the later living marketplace to life.
  • 93% of respondents think that the popularity of ‘rightsizing’ is set to increase.
  • 89% of respondents feel that planning laws need to change to boost later living development.
  • 1 in 3 are calling for a Retirement Villages Act.

Drawing on analysis of the results of the survey, the report makes strategic recommendations to improve the supply of later living accommodation including:

  • Adopting HAPPI principles for the design of housing
  • Using Modern Methods of Construction to improve the time in which housing can be delivered
  • Reducing risk to investors to increase the supply of funding for new developments
  • Legislative and policy suggestions for local and national government, including reform of planning policies, and tax breaks for individuals looking to rightsize.

The report concludes by saying that although the later living sector in the UK is at present underserved, prompt action by investors, providers, the construction industry, and government can transform the sector and ensure that everyone has a home that meets their needs later in life.

Jeremy Porteus, Chief Executive of the Housing LIN, said:

“From Old Kent Road to Mayfair, housing for our ageing population must become a community chest rather than simply a game of chance for people in later life.”