The UK’s lack of age friendly homes

Although new housing is appearing in towns and villages across the UK, it seems these estates are not including homes which appeal to the over-55s. The focus to date has been on building new homes for first-time buyers and families, but a swell in the numbers of elderly people looking to move to these out-of-city areas may have to change the minds of councils and developers.

The Royal Institute of British Architects is urging ministers to make it mandatory for developers to build new homes which are accessible and appealing to more mature people and disabled people. They should include features such as wider doorways and staircases, have access to open spaces and be within easy access of social and healthcare facilities. Many older people are still living in their three or four-bedroom homes, long after their family have left.

Amongst the recommendations3 made include mainstreaming age-friendly design, removing barriers in the planning system that restrict the delivery of age-friendly homes and providing better information and support for people who want to move home, including piloting fiscal incentives to support older people to move home.

3RIBA, July 2019