At the start of the year leading figures from the housing and ageing sectors came together at a summit held at AgeUK’s London office to map out the specific action needed to address the critical issue of housing for our ageing population.

The housing market is a hot topic, you’d be hard pressed to go more than a couple of days without seeing a news item about property prices, mortgage rates or housing shortages. As a population we face a multitude of housing related challenges, but with many of us focusing on where we want to live now, fewer are thinking about our options for later life.

The group that met at The Housing and Ageing Alliance summit hope to draw specific attention to retirement housing and identify what needs to be done to ensure this country is good place to live in older age.

Attendees included representatives from private, public and voluntary organisations, including a representative from Anchor.

The day was hugely constructive with everyone firmly in agreement that housing is fundamental to dignity and security in older age.

A number of key points were agreed by the group, including:

  • Housing underpins health and well being. It is the foundation of a sustainable NHS and social care system and needs to be an equal part of the integration agenda
  • At a time of unprecedented demographic change, housing, planning, health and social care must all systematically address population ageing
  • Housing plays a critical role in the UK economy. Older people live in a third of all homes and are the major driver of household growth. Housing and ageing is therefore of enormous economic importance.

As a result of the summit, a new report has just been released entitled: All our futures...Housing for ageing

This concise report summarises the areas of broad consensus and ideas for action developed on the day, and it’s an interesting read.

A particular point of interest for many is the argument that a coherent approach to better housing for an ageing population will actually stimulate economic activity and does not require large scale government investment. Food for thought for the new Conservative Government as they start developing new housing policies and plans.

You can find out more about The Housing and Ageing Alliance on their website here.

Mario Ambrosi is Anchor’s Head of Communications & Public Affairs and a member of The Housing and Ageing Alliance

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