MPs and peers in call to ‘age-proof’ homes in rural areas

30 Apr 18

Rural England needs more homes that are suitable for an aging population, an all-party parliamentary group has said.

Following a nine-month inquiry, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Older People, today published a report calling on local planning authorities to ensure provision of new homes for older people.

The inquiry found that 50% of rural households would be over the age of 65 by 2039.

The APPG’s report said the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs needed to play a key part in the integration of policies for housing, health and social care in rural areas for older people.

Other recommendations were directed at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, suggesting all new homes be built to the Lifetime Homes standard of accessibility.

Inquiry chair Lord Best said: “For all the advantages of living in the countryside, life can be pretty miserable if your home is no longer right for you; if you can no longer manage the steps and stairs, if maintaining the property is costing too much, if keeping warm is a trial and your energy bill’s a nightmare, if you can no longer tend the once-beautiful garden.”

Best said that the APPG was concerned that older people would face “a huge challenge to their independence and wellbeing if their homes are no longer suitable.”

 Izzi Seccombe, chair of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said: “Councils want to see a desperately needed residential revolution in older people’s housing.

“It’s essential that housing for older people enables them to live independently at home for longer, by including adaptations which enable them to get around easily and support them at home.

“If councils are given the right tools, we could trigger that residential revolution and deliver the homes our older residents need, but with an ageing population, the clock is ticking.”

MHCLG has been contacted for comment.

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