Both the Housing White Paper and the Review of the Community Infrastructure Levy were published on 7th February 2017. They can be accessed here.
In recognition of the fact that the population of the UK is growing faster than for any other age group, several measures have been announced that deal specifically with housing for older people. RHG has submitted a detailed response to the accompanying consultation document.
Chapter 4 of the Housing White Paper deals with some of the issues around provision of homes for older people, under the heading Housing our Future Population. In particular
- Paragraph 4.42 discusses providing and delivering greater choice of housing for older people and refers to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill (currently just passed its second reading in the House of Lords). It reiterates that there will be a new statutory duty on the Secretary of State to produce guidance on how local development documents should meet the housing needs of older and disabled people. It goes on to say that
“Guidance produced under this duty will place clearer expectations about planning to meet the needs of older people, including supporting the development of such homes near local services. It will also set a clear expectation that all planning authorities should set policies using the Optional Building Regulations to bring forward an adequate supply of accessible housing to meet local need. In addition, we will explore ways to stimulate the market to deliver new homes for older people”.
- Paragraphs 4.43 and 4.44 make note of the fact that freeing up under-occupied homes benefits the housing market generally and there is recognition that there are a number of inter-related barriers for individual households to downsizing including, but not limited to, cost. It goes on to say that the government is committed to exploring this further and will draw on stakeholder expertise to do so. It also gives commitment
“to fund and develop supported housing, including sheltered, step down and extra care housing, ensuring that the new supported housing funding model continues to provide the means for older people to live independently for longer while relieving pressure on the adult social care system”.