McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder, has welcomed the appointment of Tracey Crouch MP as the country’s first minister for loneliness. The announcement comes as part of the Prime Minister’s new cross-government strategy to prioritise and tackle loneliness.
High quality and well located retirement housing is central to addressing isolation and has the potential to help millions of older people lead happier, healthier and longer lives, and as such needs to be at the heart of the Government’s new strategy. Providing housing better suited to people’s needs in areas where they want to live increases independence and ensures older people stay engaged with their community, family and friends.
According to research by Demos, Britain’s leading cross-party think tank, 83% of McCarthy & Stone’s customers experience a sense of community, compared to just 51% among older people generally.
In addition, nearly nine in ten McCarthy & Stone customers say moving improves their quality of life.
Clive Fenton, chief executive of McCarthy & Stone, commented:
“We welcome Theresa May’s commitment to tackling loneliness and we want to ensure that retirement housing is a central part of this new strategy. Four and a half million older people are looking to downsize and many are looking for increased support and companionship. Our developments give our customers the chance to lead more independent lives and we know their happiness improves once they move in. Providing good quality housing for our aging population should be both a social and economic priority and must be at the heart of addressing loneliness.”
At present, supply of retirement housing is running at c.5,000 new properties per year, despite the fact that market analysts at Knight Frank and Savills think there is demand for 25,000 to 30,000 units per year. Government support to help increase supply is critical.
Representatives of McCarthy & Stone are available to discuss these points in more detail.