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Older People’s Housing Taskforce – early recommendations

RHG has today welcomed the update by Professor Julienne Meyer on the work of the older people’s housing taskforce, which she chairs.

Speaking at the Laing Buisson Retirement Housing Conference, Prof Meyer noted that the task force is likely to recommend to Government that:

  • Older people’s housing is given due consideration and prominence in the forthcoming revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework.
  • Every local authority produces an older people’s housing strategy that identifies the estimated level of required supply for age exclusive and specialist housing for older people and how it will be delivered.
  • It introduces a new regulatory framework setting out principles for greater consumer protection.
  • It agrees new terminology for the sector and language that consumers understand.
  • It considers a range of fiscal measures that would boost the provision of specialist housing for older people to stimulate demand. 

Commenting on Prof Meyer’s speech, Richard Morton, chair of  RHG, who also sits on the taskforce, stated: “There has been a historic undersupply of older people’s housing which has meant too many of those in later life have not had the housing and care options they need. The planning system remains a very significant barrier and we have been calling for its reform for many years. We warmly welcome all of Professor Meyer’s comments today and support her initial recommendations. She has done an excellent job in bringing the whole sector together and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her over the coming months to finalise the details of the taskforce’s recommendations.”

The RHG is also recommending that the taskforce considers the following policy changes to increase supply and confidence in the retirement housing sector:

  1. New regulations to govern the use of event fees in retirement housing, ensuring that every fee is assigned for a clear purpose and held in trust for the residents’ use. While RHG members do not use large event fees, their regulation is important across the sector.
  2. The removal of stamp duty from purchases of retirement housing to help older people downsize.
  3. 10% of Homes England’s and GLA housing fund delivery to be for retirement housing, including a greater use of affordable shared ownership.