Editor: This month, the House of Lords’ Built Environment Committee released a report on how we could meet housing demand and solve the housing crisis. The report noted that “little progress has been made on housing for the elderly” and suggested specialist seniors housing could be part of the solution.
We at Knight Frank agree wholeheartedly with this assessment, but we believe the report did not go far enough in explaining how seniors housing could help solve these issues.
As we know, there is an expanding seniors population in the UK, which is being met with a limited supply of housing. This issue can be overcome by introducing more supply into the market, more propositions and more choice.
With increasing institutional investment and a rapidly growing mix of for-sale and rental options, it feels like the time has come in 2022 for the UK’s seniors housing sector to be turbocharged.
Covid has forced us to reassess housing and care provision in later life, and now is the time for the government to get serious and include meeting the needs of our ageing population in its levelling-up agenda.
There are several zero-cost items that can support our ageing population. These include allocating a percentage of the UK’s housing delivery target of 300,000 homes to be built as age-appropriate housing; holding local authorities to account to ensure seniors housing delivery is meeting local needs; giving more support to seniors housing in planning policy through its own planning use class; and committing to helping people step off the property ladder, which would help everyone in the property lifecycle, especially first-time buyers.
Peter Youngs, partner, seniors housing team, Knight Frank