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A Home for the Ages: Planning for the Future with Age-Friendly Design

This report makes the case for tackling the current shortage of housing suitable to meet the needs of an ageing population.

A Home for the Ages: Planning for the Future with Age-Friendly Design challenges the current failure in England to meet the need for housing that is suitable for the older generation. From making the current housing stock more accessible through to delivering specialised housing for people with significant care needs, there is currently a failure to build enough of all forms of age-friendly housing.

By identifying the costs associated with this failure and the potential benefits that could be achieved through action, the report makes the case for how policymakers focusing on increasing age-friendly housing provision could play an important role in tackling the extensive issues in both housing and social care. 

The report includes data from Centre for Towns which reveals the places in England getting oldest, fastest and a detailed survey carried out by ComRes which reveals what matters to over 55s, and their hopes and aspirations for their next home. 

In response to the issues raised in this report, the RIBA's recommendations include:

  • Planning Use Classes and sub classes need to be reviewed to take account of the range of current and emerging age-friendly options and ensure that Section 106 obligations and Community Infrastructure Levy are applied appropriately. 
  • The Government should make M4(2) Category 2: Accessible and Adaptable Dwellings standard the basic requirement for all new housing, subject to specific exemptions where step-free access is not feasible. 
  • Local authorities should ensure that sufficient specialised housing for older people is allocated through local plans, including allocating specific sites for age-friendly housing across all tenures. 

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