ARCO is calling on political parties to support the growth of the retirement community sector in their manifestos in the next election

Housing, health and social care policy in the UK has continually failed to facilitate the growth needed in the retirement community sector to deliver housing, support and care to hundreds of thousands of older people in the UK.

ARCO is calling on all UK political parties to make the following manifesto commitment: The UK must set itself the ambition to be a global leader in innovative solutions that address the housing and care needs of our ageing population.

ARCO suggests the housing and care needs of the ageing population should include:

  • An ambition to provide an additional 175,000 older people with access to next-generation retirement communities by 2030
  • Establishing a cross-Government task force to review the regulatory obstacles of growth in the sector
  • A commitment to empowering and protecting older people in their decisions concerning housing and care, including clarity over any fees they may face and what they can expect from their provider.

Michael Voges, executive director of ARCO, said: “This election is an opportunity for all parties to make a clear statement of their ambitions to grow a world class housing with care system for older people in the UK.

“Currently the UK lags well behind comparable countries in its provision of housing with care. Changing this will unlock billions of pounds of savings for the NHS and social care, free up hundreds of thousands of houses, attract tens of billions of pounds of investment and improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of older people.”

ARCO has also contacted many parliamentary candidates from the main political parties to sign up to a similar pledge, with a view to continuing and expanding the work by ARCO’s existing cross-party group of Parliamentary supporters.

ARCO believes the following issues need to be addressed:

  • Providing a sector-specific legal and regulatory framework that protects consumers and provides much-needed clarity for operators
  • Overcoming barriers in the planning system which slow down or prevent new schemes from being built
  • Providing a clear definition of retirement community offering housing with support and care, removing the current ambiguity
  • Working with the sector to establish more flexible forms of tenure, providing customers with a choice beyond the traditional leasehold system.

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