Action on housing

The UK’s population is rapidly ageing, and the implications – economically, socially and politically – are huge. And one of the biggest of these is where (and how) we house our ever-ageing population, many of whom will have restricted mobility or specific care or support needs. 

We believe that the lack of a suitable housing supply in the right locations means that significant opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of older people… and reduce public expenditure on health and care… are being missed. 

Further, the current energy crisis is highlighting the problem that so many elderly people have in keeping their home warm and dry when it is poorly insulated, draughty or subject to damp. The failure to adequately adapt and repair the existing homes of older people represents a huge missed opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of a large swathe of the population and reduce public expenditure in the process. 

In fact, meeting the housing needs of older people would actually represent a national opportunity: the key to better care, fewer (and shorter) hospital stays and a more integrated society. Instead, older people regularly find themselves being criticised for not downsizing, or holding onto the nation’s housing assets.

Blaming older people for the country’s housing crisis is not only discriminatory but also demonstrably untrue: the problem is far more deep-rooted and borne of decades of undersupply against a background of a rising population. Research by WPI Economics and Homes for Later Living estimates that three million older people would like to downsize, yet only about 7,000 new retirement properties are built each year. We hope, with members’ input, to develop a shared policy on housing which we can campaign on. As a starter, The Housing Champions Network, appointed by Care & Repair England, has generated a “manifesto” of the actions which would go a long way towards ensuring older people can live independently as long as possible in homes that are safe, warm, comfortable and accessible. 

Get involved

To contribute towards the AAA’s Housing Action policy plans or to see your blogs, papers, research or news on these pages, email:

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