A difficult future for an ageing population
An ageing demographic means that finding suitable accommodation for our elderly population is already a problem, and is predicted to grow even more difficult in the future.
The population of England is projected to grow by 4.1 million (7.5%) by mid-2024. However, the most rapidly growing age group is people aged 65 and over. This group currently numbers circa 12 million and is projected to rise to over 17 million by 2037. For those aged 85 or over, the increase will be even greater, projected to grow by 88%.
These growth rates will place increasing pressure on the housing system and care providers alike.
The 2017 Housing White Paper acknowledges these statistics and the government responded by reviewing solutions that will help to deliver much needed purpose-built accommodation for older people.
According to the think tank, Demos, 58% of homeowners aged 60 or over are interested in moving home, but many feel restricted by the lack of suitable housing and this is something the team at Muller is mindful of as we look at land development opportunities.
The majority of people require a good standard, secure and affordable home – but people at varying stages of their lives have different requirements. Older people have the right to bespoke housing alternatives that support their way of life, but more often than not they find themselves in unsuitable or badly located accommodation. At present, there simply isn’t enough.
Getting the correct housing for older people could have great benefits, both socially and economically.
Although there are positive strides forward in both mainstream and specialist housing, there are clearly an insufficient range of options for our rapidly expanding elderly population. That’s why Muller is committed to including elements such as retirement living, affordable homes and care homes in its property portfolio. We believe that this small but important initiative is at least a step in the right direction for the future of property, land promotion and land development.
Jonothan Croft, Land Director