Wednesday, 29 June 2022
The Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, Manchester
Ahead of the release of our next later living white paper, we held a roundtable at Housing 2022 where 16 experts from across the later living sector joined forces to discuss the matter of ‘moving on’, how we make later living for everyone and how we combat negative stereotypes. The event included panellists from across private, not-for-profit and charitable housing as well as architects, academics and legal experts.
In a sample size of more than 200,000 properties gathered from registered housing providers, spanning more than 200 local authorities, our data analysis shows the same trend across England and Scotland for social housing: that over 65s account for the majority of ‘under-occupied’ homes. A property was considered to be ‘under-occupied’ if it had a single tenant or couple living in a 3 bedroom+ house.
We would anticipate this trend to be similar across private rented and privately owned homes. Indeed, further research2 we conducted showed that almost 6 out of 10 (59%) people aged 50 and over had no plan to, or did not know if they would ever, downsize one day.
As part of the event, we captured the ideas and innovations from specialists about incentives, design, marketing, language, collaboration, policy and planning.
The discussion focused on how we can make later living for everyone (not just the rich and those receiving benefits), how we incentivise and publicise the benefits of rightsizing and how we combat negative perceptions about later living.
Key Thoughts From The Participants
Head of Housing, Tonic Housing
Senior Conveyancing Executive, Shakespeare Martineau
Founder, New Ground Cohousing
Managing Director, McCarthy & Stone
Director of Support & Service Development, Orbit Homes
Health & Wellbeing Specialist, Director & Company Secretary, AmbaCare Solutions CIC
Residential Director, Glenbrook Property
Head of Building Communities, Shakespeare Martineau
Head of Wellbeing, Research & Innovation, The ExtraCare Charitable Trust
Editor, Inside Housing
Senior Lecturer in Social Policy & Housing, University of Stirling
Head of Social Housing Development, Shakespeare Martineau
Ecosystem Director at Homes & Housing, Connected Places Catapult
Director, Pozzoni Architecture
Innovative Sites Programme Manager, Be First Regeneration Limited
Corporate Director of Operations at WHG
Inclusivity takes work
“Picking the right development is key to an inclusive community and approaching people who already live in the area will support integration. Having authentic conversations and asking people how they’d like to live is also hugely important so there is a fun element, and we can help older people make the most of their later years. But this isn’t just relevant to the LGBTQ+ community, or ethnic minorities, this should be happening for all schemes to support their success and the conversations should never end – it’s an ongoing dialogue as people and their priorities change.
“I do think that nomination agreements need some reassessing though as we are not always in control of creating and attracting a diverse community, or working solely with the existing local community.”
Variety of need
“Needs vary drastically across location. In my experience London is very different and it’s very hard to incentivise people to right-size. There is probably more we can learn from schemes abroad, where they’ll often charge service fees for in-demand services.
“And increasing multi-lingual sites would be beneficial for the older generation where culture and belonging is so important and English might not be their first language.”
“Developers are in the business of building houses for a profit. If there’s demand, they’ll build and they’ll always go to the highest bidder.”