A new report from a think tank suggests that older people may be living in homes too large for their needs.
But they often cannot move even if they want to because not enough suitable homes are available to rent or buy, argues the Policy Exchange.
The report, ‘Building for the Baby Boomers’, calls for the government to promote more housing choice for the over 55s.
Providing more suitable homes for this generation would release more property suitable for families and allow the over 55s to tap in to the cash locked up in the value of their homes.
“In recent years housing has raced up the political agenda and there has justifiably been a focus on young people’s experience of the housing market, particularly in cities where rents tend to be highest and the prospects of home ownership are most distant,” said report author Jack Airey.
“In this report we highlight an issue that we believe is sometimes overlooked – the shortage of homes suitable for ageing baby boomers and its impact on society, including families and younger people.
“People in old age, for instance, are disproportionately likely to live in poor quality housing or housing in need of serious repair, particularly when they live in socially disadvantaged areas. Damp, lack of insulation, poor heating, unsafe stairs, and low levels of both artificial and natural light can all affect physical health.
“Unfortunately physical harm is just one part of the picture. Poorly designed homes and isolation can also vastly increase an older person’s risk of loneliness. Steep or poorly lit stairs can limit an older person’s will or ability to leave the home.”