Housing for older people: Shift needed in Government policy
Care Management Matters: A new All Party Parliamentary Group report on housing for older people calls for a significant change in the focus of Government policy away from concentrating simply on support for first time buyers.
In the Housing our Ageing Population: Positive Ideas (HAPPI 3) report, Lord Best said, ‘Government must move away from concentrating exclusively on support to young first time buyers, with its huge investment in Help to Buy schemes and now in Starter Homes. The UK needs “Later Homes” too.
The report sets out a number of positive ideas for ways in which Government policy and actions by house builders and other stakeholders can make a different.
- Housing ministers to take lead on securing more support across Government to boost output of house building for older people.
- Stamp Duty exemption for those over pension age.
- Help to Buy assistance extended to those buying new property in older age.
- Department of Health should supplement the Government’s capital investment programme for housing with care support, as it saves money for the NHS and social care.
- Department for Work and Pensions should ensure its policies for rent regulation/Housing Benefit do not deter investment in extra care and specialist housing for older people.
- Local authorities should ensure their local plans give necessary priority to older people’s housing needs.
- House builders, investors and lenders should lead the way with high-quality design and imaginative marketing to address supply and demand.
- House builders and developers should sign up to relevant sector consumer codes and give clear and transparent information about charges and fees to potential buyers and tenants.
- Housing associations, as innovative providers, should move forward in introducing ‘care-ready’ features, such as new connected homes technologies to provide greater autonomy and control.
- Housing associations should use their development skills and experience to assist the fledgling ‘senior co-housing’ movement.