• A  A  A  A  

Think Tank calls for greater regulation of Retirement Communities

A report published by The International Longevity Centre has urged the government to introduce specific legislation and an overall regulatory framework for the retirement community sector.

Retirement communities, also known as housing-with-care or extra care, are growing in popularity in the UK. Ranging from options for affordable rent to high end luxury developments for sale, retirement communities allow older people to own or rent their own accommodation while making use of on-site support or care services as well as facilities such as swimming pools, libraries, hairdressers and bistros.

A relatively new concept for the UK, retirement communities have been found to tackle loneliness, shorten hospital stays and reduce risk of falls for older people.

Despite growth in the supply of housing-with-care in the UK, the report found that the number of new units per year would need to be more than double to meet demand.

Drawing on lessons from New Zealand, Australia and the US, the report urged the government to consider a number of measures to stimulate expansion of the sector while protecting older consumers. Most notably, the report called for the introduction of specific legislation and an overall regulatory framework specifically for the retirement community sector. This sits alongside suggestions for the implementation of a specific land use classification for housing-with-care and the need to develop robust industry standards to protect older consumers. The report was supported by ARCO and Legal & General.

Commenting on the findings, Michael Voges, Executive Director at ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators) said:

“We often point to other countries to highlight just how inadequate the level of supply of housing with care is in the UK. This report clearly articulates the need for a more consistent legislative and regulatory approach for our sector. We want to get to where other countries already are, and ARCO and its members will be advocating higher levels of consumer protection in the years to come. Customers, operators and investors all need more clarity for this sector to expand, and meet the housing and care needs of our ageing population.”

ENDS

For Further Information Please Contact

Mhairi Tordoff, Policy and Communications Assistant, at [email protected] or on 07415 683 783

Michael Voges, ARCO’s Executive Director, at [email protected] or on 0203 697 1204

Notes to editors

  1. About ARCO: ARCO (the Associated Retirement Community Operators) is the trade association for operators of housing-with-care developments for older people. ARCO was founded in 2012, and is now comprised of 30 private and not-for-profit operators of retirement communities. ARCO represents approximately 50% of the retirement community sector. ARCO sets high standards, and all ARCO members must adhere to the externally assessed ARCO Consumer Code. ARCO does not represent the traditional retirement housing model where there are limited services and no care is available.
  2. Research: The Full Report ‘Stronger Foundations: International Lessons for the Housing-with-care Sector in the UK’ is available at ilcuk.org.uk/index.php/publications.
  3. About retirement communities:Retirement communities typically consist of individual one or two bedroom flats or small houses, located in a development of similar properties. Residents have access to a range of services and facilities, which will usually include optional on-site care, 24-hour staffing, and dining and leisure facilities, and may also include bars, gyms and craft rooms. Retirement communities are also sometimes referred to as housing-with-care schemes; retirement villages; extra care housing; assisted living; or close care apartments. They sit in between traditional retirement houses (which have less extensive staffing and leisure facilities), and care homes, and can be in urban or suburban locations.
  4. Benefits of retirement communities:
  • Meeting the needs of an ageing population: Older people need and want choice in their housing for later life. However, at present housing options for older people are limited. Retirement communities are an important element of housing choice for older people. Developing the capacity of the retirement community sector is vital to ensuring that the UK’s housing market is fit to meet the needs of an ageing population.
  • Promoting independence, security and wellbeing: Older people living in retirement communities are likely to experience lower levels of loneliness and social isolation. A 2014 study by the International Longevity Centre found that 82% of respondents in retirement communities said they hardly or never felt isolated, and only 1% often felt isolated.
  • Reducing costs and encouraging more efficient use of resources: Residents in retirement communities are able to receive specialist care in their homes if needed, enabling them to return home from hospital earlier. They are also less likely to enter hospital. For example, one way in which retirement communities improve health is by preventing falls. Retirement community properties are designed and built with adaptations to support independence and research shows that those living in these specialist homes are between 1.5 and 2.8 times less likely to have a fall than those living in homes without adaptations. This helps to reduce pressure on NHS services. A recent study found that NHS costs were reduced by 38% for those moving into retirement village housing and NHS costs for ‘frail’ residents had reduced by 51.5% after 12 months.
  • Responding to the housing shortage: Older people moving to a retirement community will typically ‘downsize’, freeing up much needed and under-occupied family sized homes. If all those interested in moving into a retirement property were able to do so, research suggests that approximately 3.29 million properties would be released, including nearly 2 million three-bedroom homes.
Posted in: Press Release  |  Comments Off on Think Tank calls for greater regulation of Retirement Communities

Future of Supported Housing Funding

Michael Voges Low Res

In a statement last week, Marcus Jones, Minister of State for Local Government announced a new funding model for state-funded supported housing, including extra care housing.

The announcement follows Theresa May’s statement last week that the Government had dropped plans to apply the LHA cap to housing benefit for state funded supported housing, and signals a more positive approach.

We will need to analyse the proposals in more detail, and will be keen to ensure that the new system does cover the real costs associated with extra care housing (including regional variations), which are higher than those required for sheltered housing

Nevertheless, this week’s announcement was welcome, demonstrating that the Government has listened to many of the concerns that ARCO and other sector bodies raised with them over the last two years.

In particular, the commitment to keep funding for extra care within the welfare system in order to provide certainty and allow for future demand is significant. The obligation on local areas to assess and plan for the needs of each older people requiring different housing types may also turn out to be beneficial to the sector.

ARCO will be engaging with members on the full detail of these proposals over the coming months. This will feed into our response to the consultations which will close on 23rd January 2018.

michael Signature

Michael Voges

Executive Director, ARCO

 

Posted in: Press Release  |  Comments Off on Future of Supported Housing Funding

Audley CEO Nick Sanderson elected as new ARCO Chair at annual retirement community sector event

  • Nick Sanderson, Founder and CEO of Audley Retirement, elected as new Chair of ARCO
  • Bank Leumi (UK) sponsor the annual ARCO member event, showcasing their commitment to the retirement community sector

At their AGM on 12 October 2017, ARCO members unanimously elected Nick Sanderson, founder and CEO of Audley Retirement Villages, as Chair of the ARCO Board of Directors. Nick has spent the past 30 years growing and developing Audley into a successful company providing high quality, luxury retirement villages across the UK, and is now spearheading the company’s expansion into the middle market under their new Mayfield brand. As a founding member of ARCO, Nick has a strong commitment to ensuring that the sector is ahead of the curve in providing the highest standards of service to their residents. Jane Ashcroft, Chief Executive of Anchor, was unanimously re-elected as ARCO’s Vice-Chair.

Nick took over the role of Chair from Richard Davis, the former Chief Executive of LifeCare Residences, who took up a new role in his native country of New Zealand earlier in the year after successfully spearheading the development of London’s first retirement village, Battersea Place.

The event, kindly sponsored by Bank Leumi (UK), also provided a forum for ARCO Board members and select guests to discuss the future of the housing-with-care sector, which has seen a flurry of new entrants in recent months.

The AGM and Board Meeting was hosted by ARCO Patron Baroness Sally Greengross, and took place at Bankhouse, a One Housing ‘Season’ retirement community in central London. The newly opened mixed-tenure scheme features 84 shared-ownership and socially rented retirement living apartments in the London Borough of Lambeth. The development has 14 storeys, and includes a restaurant, bar, lounge, on-site domiciliary care service, wellbeing spa, roof terrace with breath-taking views over the London skyline, and will soon include a floating garden for the enjoyment of its’ residents.

In the evening, the retirement community sector movers and shakers debated the future of housing-with-care at the annual ARCO Assembly event, which featured a lively presentation from ARCO Executive Director, Michael Voges, and spirited group discussion. The day concluded with a drinks reception and a three-course meal, which provided a chance for attendees to network, and celebrate ARCO’s achievements.

Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley and newly elected Chair of ARCO said:
“ARCO has championed the approach of providing retirement housing combined with care and additional facilities, and its members set the standard for the industry. Audley, as a founder member, has been involved since the start, so I am thrilled to have been elected Chair as the organisation continues to grow its influence.

“The retirement housing sector is today faced with an unprecedented opportunity, although one not without its challenges. I look forward to working with the ARCO team and all members to increase the supply of retirement communities that meet the housing and care needs of our ageing population.”

Richard Martin, Relationship Manager at Bank Leumi (UK), said:
“Bank Leumi (UK) has been providing finance to support ARCO members developing retirement communities for more than five years, during which time we have seen the sector firmly establish itself as a distinct category of its own. As a relationship focussed bank, Bank Leumi looks forward to working with ARCO members over the coming years to create funding solutions that will assist in unlocking the sector’s full potential.”


Notes to editors

1. About ARCO: ARCO (the Associated Retirement Community Operators) is the trade association for operators of housing-with-care developments for older people. ARCO was founded in 2012, and is now comprised of 30 private and not-for-profit operators of retirement communities. ARCO represents approximately 50% of the retirement community sector. ARCO sets high standards, and all ARCO members must adhere to the externally assessed ARCO Consumer Code. ARCO does not represent the traditional housing model where limited services and no care is available.

2. About retirement communities: Retirement communities typically consist of individual one or two bedroom flats or small houses, located in a development of similar properties. Residents have access to a range of services and facilities, which will usually include optional on-site care, 24-hour staffing, and dining and leisure facilities, and may also include bars, gyms and craft rooms. Retirement communities are also sometimes referred to as housing-with-care schemes; retirement villages; extra care housing; assisted living; or close care apartments. They sit in between traditional retirement houses (which have less extensive staffing and leisure facilities), and care homes, and can be in urban or suburban locations.

3. About Bank Leumi (UK):
Established in London over a century ago, Leumi Group is today one of Israel’s largest banking groups and a reputable global banking institution. The Group manages assets in excess of $360 billion and $8.9 billion in equities. Leumi operates over 250 branches and offices located across Israel and in key financial centres worldwide. Leumi offers a comprehensive range of specialised financial services to all customer segments.

Bank Leumi (UK) plc, a subsidiary of Leumi Group, has established a reputation as one of the leading foreign-owned banks in London. Offering a full range of corporate banking facilities, the Bank’s service is based on traditional values and personal relationships, assisted by the latest technology. Leumi UK is proud to have earned a reputation as a specialist bank that works hard to build long-lasting relationships with clients, while offering each individual the solution that is best suited to their needs.

Bank Leumi (UK) plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
leumi vector sponsors logo
www.bankleumi.co.uk

 

For further information on ARCO, please contact ARCO’s Executive Director, Michael Voges, on [email protected] or 07415 985 985.

Posted in: Press Release  |  Comments Off on Audley CEO Nick Sanderson elected as new ARCO Chair at annual retirement community sector event

Media Enquiries

For all media enquiries please contact:

Michael Voges
07415 985 985
[email protected]