Too many older Londoners are unable to access the housing they want and need. This report makes the case for a stronger and more coordinated approach to providing homes that work for them.
Older Londoners contribute hugely to the economic, social and family life of our city. Yet too many of them are unable to access the housing they need.
Older people have four main housing options available to them as they age: remaining in their current home, living with family or friends, living in a home specifically designed for older people (specialist housing) or living in a care home.
In London, there is a particular gap in the availability of specialist housing, with less than half of the new specialist homes required being built. This gap is also likely to grow as London’s older population increases.
But building new homes alone will not be enough to ensure older people have a genuine choice about where they want to live. Homes need to be made easier to adapt, and accurate information about the different options as people age needs to be made available.
London boroughs should:
- Include specific targets for specialist housing in local plans;
- Proactively shape the range of older people’s housing being built;
- Work with partners to reach “rising” older people with information about future housing choices.
The Greater London Authority should:
- Create a specialist housing target for large sites;
- Be or support a trusted provider of information on housing options for older Londoners;
- Continue to promote accessible design principles – such as the Lifetime Homes Standards – to ensure that housing can be adapted as people age.
The government should:
- Create statutory definitions and consistent minimum standards for the different types of older people’s specialist housing;
- Provide dedicated funding to local authorities for older people’s housing support services;
- Develop a second-generation ‘New Homes Bonus’ that rewards councils for delivering older people’s housing.