In July 2016, the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) – an independent, non-partisan think tank dedicated to addressing issues of longevity, ageing and population change – published ‘The State of the Nation’s Housing’ fact pack.
The report revealed there is only enough retirement housing to accommodate five per cent of the over-65s. The situation is set to get worse due to an ageing demographic. The Office for National Statistics predict that 29.5 per cent of people in the UK will be aged 60+ by 2039, up from 23.2 per cent in 2015. By then, more than one in 12 people are expected to be aged 80 or over.
The ILC says that by 2030 there will be a shortage of 160,000 homes suitable for older people and, by 2050, the gap could grow to 376,000. It is urging the government to boost the supply of specialist retirement property, including apartments for sale. The rate of construction of new housing for older people peaked in 1989 at 30,000 homes a year but has since fallen and, over the last decade, the annual average is about 7,000 new units.
National Planning Policy
The need to provide specialist housing for older people is recognised specifically in Paragraph 21 of the National Planning Practice Guidance. The guidance recognises that retirement housing can help free up under-occupied housing and its provision is of vital importance, given the projected increase in households over the age of 65.
Community and Engagement Consultation
The company is committed to engaging and consulting with the local community, stakeholders and Local Planning Authorities on its development proposals. All of the proposed developments currently being planned are available to view under the Community Engagement and Consultation tab (coming soon).
Benefits to the Local Community
The development of sheltered retirement homes has a range of benefits, including:
- Creating a number of construction jobs – Renaissance has committed to using local sub-contractors and suppliers wherever possible, which will be a boost to the local economy
- Residents will use local shops and services and increase the vitality of the town centre
- Under occupied housing stock will be released, providing housing for younger families
- Sheltered retirement housing makes more efficient use of land, thereby reducing the need to use limited land resources for housing
- It provides companionship and a developing community which helps to reduce isolation and loneliness
- The company will make financial contributions (subject to individual site circumstances) to support local Community Infrastructure and Affordable Housing