In recent years housing has raced up the political agenda and there has justifiably been a focus on young people’s experience of the housing market, particularly in cities where rents tend to be highest and the prospects of home ownership are most distant. This report highlights an issue that is sometimes overlooked – the shortage of homes suitable for ageing baby boomers and its impact on society, including families and younger people.
To support more baby boomers to move home, and as recognised in RIBA’s recent publication Age Friendly Housing, a far greater provision of retirement homes is needed – that is, homes built specifically for the needs of older people. This sort of housing supply is currently very limited, with private providers targeting equity-rich homeowners and local authorities and housing associations providing some social housing stock for those least well-off. Moving to a property purpose built for an older person is also seen by many to be an undesirable choice.
This report argues that closing this supply gap and correcting what is a market failure, requires a focus on building for the baby boomers, with more homes needed across all tenures and all price points – something that necessitates action from the Government, local authorities and housebuilders.