In February 2017, the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee launched an inquiry into whether the housing on offer in England for older people is sufficiently available and suitable for their needs. This inquiry was launched in lieu of a significant housing shortage, a rise in elderly population, pressures on adult social care, and, as mentioned in the announcement, with ‘just 2% of the country’s housing stock designed with pensioners in mind’.
Melissa Fernández and Kath Scanlon submmitted written evidence to this committee. They draw from their experience over the last five years of working together at LSE London researching co-housing and other collaborative forms of housing for older people, looking at schemes in London, elsewhere in the UK, and in Europe. This is the executive summary, an excerpt from the evidence submitted:
- Senior cohousing offers an innovative model of self-managed community for older people.
- Research suggests that these mutual support communities can delay physical or mental decline, help avoid intermediate options such as ‘assisted living’ or ‘extra-care’, and reduce public health, care and housing costs.
- Issues around finance and land are the most significant barriers to development. Policy should provide for preferential access to land to community developers such as cohousing schemes.
- Housing designed with older people can better meet residents’ particular needs, widen choices available, and help create the conditions for more voluntary downsizing.
Click here to find the complete written evidence document.
Click here to access a list and links to the other written evidence submitted to the committee.
For our various outputs on alternative, collaborative, and cohousing research projects, please click here.