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ARCO Response to Autumn Statement 2016

In response to today’s Autumn Statement, Michael Voges, ARCO’s Executive Director, makes the following statement:

“We are disappointed by the lack of attention given to older people’s housing and care in today’s Autumn Statement. Between 2014 and 2030, the number of people aged 65 and over is predicted to rise by 38%, and the number of people aged 75 and over is set to rise by 53%. This will impact on all of us.

If they are serious about building a ‘housing market that works for everyone’, the Government must now use the next Spending Review and forthcoming Housing White Paper to give the housing and care needs of our ageing population the attention it deserves.

Increasing the support for older people’s housing and care is a win-win for all generations: it efficiently frees up family homes, eases pressure on our struggling health and care systems, and enables older people, their families and carers to live happier, more active and less isolated lives.

ARCO are calling for:

  • planning changes including a clarification that housing-with-care developments should always be built under the C2 use class, and clearer enforcement of the principle that local plans need to take proper account of the ‘critical’ housing needs of older people; and
  • continued support for social rented supported housing and preventative benefits for older disabled people.”


Notes for editors

1. The Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) is the main body representing the retirement community sector in the UK. There are currently 27 ARCO members, representing more than 400 retirement communities and over 50 per cent of all housing-with-care schemes in the UK. ARCO members include both private providers and not-for-profit providers.

Retirement communities combine high quality housing options for older people with tailored support services. Unlike care homes, they allow residents to rent or own a property and to maintain their privacy and independence. But in contrast to traditional retirement housing, they also offer the reassurance of 24-hour on-site staff, communal facilities (which could include dining options, leisure facilities, gyms or pools) and optional on-site care and support as needed. Retirement communities may also be referred to as retirement villages, extra care housing, housing-with-care, assisted living schemes, very sheltered housing, or close care.

2. Between 2014 and 2030, the number of people aged 65 and over is predicted to rise by 38%, and the number of people aged 75 and over is set to rise by 53%. Source: ONS 2014-based National Population Projections, Published October 2015.

3. Owing to their unique service offer, research has found that retirement communities reduce social isolation, and residents in retirement communities are around half as lonely as those living in the community. They are also healthier, and are half as likely to enter institutional accommodation such as care homes, compared to those in general needs accommodation. This benefits individuals, their families, and reduces pressure on struggling health and social care services.

Please see: Beach, B. (2015) ‘Village Life, Independence, Loneliness, and Quality of Life in Retirement Villages with Extra Care’. International Longevity Centre, London http://www.ilcuk.org.uk/index.php/publications/publication_details/village_life_independence_loneliness_and_quality_of_life_in_retirement_vill and Kneale, D. (2011) ‘Establishing the extra in Extra Care: Perspectives from three Extra Care Housing Providers’. International Longevity Centre, London http://www.ilcuk.org.uk/index.php/publications/publication_details/establishing_the_extra_in_extra_care_perspectives_from_three_extra_care_hou

4. A recent Demos report found that if all those interested in ‘rightsizing’ into a retirement property were able to do so, research suggests that about 3.29 million properties would be released, including nearly 2 million three-bedroom homes. See: Wood, C (2013) Top of the Ladder. https://www.demos.co.uk/files/TopoftheLadder-web.pdf?1378922386 

For more information please contact Maia Beresford, Policy and External Affairs Manager ([email protected] or 0203 697 1204) or Michael Voges, ARCO Executive Director (0203 697 1204)