Research from the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK), a leading think tank, has found that most 65-79- year-old people live in under occupied houses. By providing more appropriate housing for the last-time buyers, it might be possible to free up larger homes for families thereby helping to alleviate the housing crisis in the UK.
Responding to Housing Minister Gavin Barwell’s suggestion that making it easier for older people to downsize could help solve the housing crisis (and create more business for moving companies), the ILC-UK has urged the UK government to ensure thousands of new retirement properties are built as a matter of urgency.
Surveys conducted by the ILC-UK have also found that lack of supply is a key reason why older people do not downsize. “The Housing Minister is right to recognise that meeting the needs of last time buyers and encouraging downsizing is crucial to addressing the housing crisis,” said ILC-UK Chief Executive Baroness Sally Greengross. “Downsizing can also ensure that older people live in properties that allow them to stay in their own homes for longer, and can release equity that can be used to fund social care in later life.”