Editor: The Department of Health and Social Care’s report on how ‘housing with care’ can help alleviate pressure on the NHS and provide quality care for older people further demonstrates the government’s growing support for the retirement communities sector.
Fuelled by the Covid-19 crisis, we are seeing select committee reports, parliamentary questions and ministerial questions making the case for growth. It seems inevitable that the next step will be for the government to answer the sector’s call for legislation to boost delivery, including a new planning classification.
Riverstone and many of its peers are not sitting back and waiting for this to happen. Ours was one of the few sectors fortunate enough to take a leap forward in 2020. According to Knight Frank, delivery across the UK is set to grow by around 10% in the next five years, helped by an increasing number of investors recognising rising demand and a lack of adequate supply.
Lack of supply is not the only key driver. Today’s far more discerning older generation is calling for better choice and higher standards. In a recent Later Life Ambitions/Associated Retirement Community Operators survey, nine in 10 agreed that government must improve housing for older people, with over half lamenting that local downsizing options are not good enough. This illuminates the mismatch between older people’s needs and the options available to them.
Riverstone is joining a groundswell of later-living providers, scientists, researchers and technologists working to deliver more exciting homes that enable residents to lead healthier and fuller lives for longer.
The government, communities, key partners and property developers must work in alignment to bring forward more homes that support independent living in safe communities and thriving locations.
Jason Leek, CEO, Riverstone