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Coalition launches to tackle housing shortages for the aged and disabled

Words: Huw Morris
Adaptive and flexible housing / iStock-516174996

The UK faces a crisis in suitable housing for older and disabled people unless the next government ensures all new homes are accessible and adaptable.

The warning, by a new coalition of housing organisations, comes as less than half of local housebuilding plans in England included provision for accessible homes. The number of households headed by someone aged 65 and over has increased by more than 1 million since 2010/11.

By 2030, projected figures suggest that there will be just one new accessible home built for every 15 people over the age of 65.

Homes Made for Everyone, which comprises Age UK, the Royal Institute of British Architects, Disability Rights UK, the National Housing Federation, and the Chartered Institute of Housing, calls on the next government to take greater action to secure housing suitable for an ageing population and people living with disabilities.

Without action, the coalition warns, the country faces “an ever-mounting bill, with councils spending greater sums on trying to adapt homes retrospectively and the costs to our health and social care systems spiralling”.

Anna Dixon, the chief executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, which is part of the coalition, said: “Too many people are today living in homes that limit their independence, and we face a dangerous shortage of homes that are accessible and adaptable.

“While it’s not inevitable, the likelihood is that most of us will experience disability or difficulties with activities of daily living at some point in our later life.

“And with more of us living for longer, this dire lack of accessible homes represents a ticking time bomb.”

Image credit | iStock