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Why retirement housing matters

Retirement housing benefits everyone

Retirement Housing doesn’t just help older people live safely and socially in a home of their own as they get older, it helps in lots of other ways from encouraging the release of family-sized homes for growing families through to relieving pressure on health and social care services and supporting local shops and services nearby.

Below are ways in which specialist housing for older people supports the local community, the wider economy, our public services and people’s quality of life.

Reducing demand on the NHS and care services

A typical retirement housing community of 40 apartments helps local health and social care services in the following ways:

  • Saving health and social care costs – Delivers NHS, health and social care savings of over £200k per year through fewer domestic injuries, less reliance on social care, better mental health outcomes and the greater ease and efficiency with which at-home services can be administered.
  • Preparing for future care needs – people living in a retirement community are proactively moving to a home of their own which has been specifically designed to meet their changing needs, where care and support services can be administered more easily and personal safety is paramount.
Resident and development manager talking at a desk
Helping people move up the housing ladder -

Helping younger people move up the housing ladder

A new retirement housing community helps people of all ages move up the housing ladder in the following ways:

  • Frees up family-sized second-hand homes – For every 1 move into a retirement home it releases at least 2 houses further down the chain which are most often larger, family-sized homes with gardens, near schools.
  • Helps first time buyers – For every three moves into a retirement development two of the housing chains opened up leads directly to a first-time buyer getting onto the housing ladder.

Investing in the local economy

A typical retirement housing community of 40 apartments helps boost the local economy in the following ways:

  • Supporting the High Street – Generates £350k of new, additional spend on the local High Street through the increased, week-round footfall of people living in or near to the town centre.
  • Providing new jobs – Supports 85 jobs during construction and 6 permanent jobs afterwards ranging from on-site managers to gardeners, handymen and maintenance staff.

Improving older people’s quality of life

A retirement housing community improves older people’s quality of life in the following ways:

  • Help on hand – people living in a retirement community know practical help is on hand should they need it and assistance can be summoned at any time.
  • Making friends and avoiding loneliness – people living in a retirement community become part of a network of friends and like-minded neighbours who can socialise together. An average person aged 80 feels as good as someone 10 years younger after moving into retirement housing.

Benefitting the environment

A typical new retirement housing community helps focus new housing on brownfield land and  improves the local environment in the following ways:

  • Brownfield first – the vast majority of retirement housing communities are built on previously-used brownfield sites which are within easy reach of local shops and services on foot or by public transport.
  • Environmental uplift – High quality, well-maintained landscaping and gardens are a key feature of retirement housing which look attractive and support biodiversity.
  • Greening the UK’s housing stock – New owners moving into older, family-sized houses will typically make improvements which reduce the yearly carbon footprint of that house by as much as 0.5 tonnes per year.
Brownfield retirement housing development - Mallory Court, beside canal

All figures are sourced from research undertaken by WPI Economics between 2019 and 2021.

Find out how the Retirement Housing Group  is working to increase the supply of housing specifically designed to meet the needs of our ageing population.