Industry leaders are urging for more to be done to address the severe supply and demand imbalances seen in the UK senior living housing market.

The shortage in homes for older people is an impending crisis. The estimated annual later living housing requirement is 30,000 new homes, however only 7,000 are being delivered. This is despite the fact that there are 12.5 million people living in the UK aged 65 or over, with retirement housing making up only 2% of the total housing supply.

The challenge here – as outlined in my recent article - is not the ageing generation digging their heels in to stay put in the family home, but rather the amount of new senior living homes being built. 

While there is no easy solution, steps must be taken now to boost supply. Potential action includes working with planning authorities at a local and national level to push senior living higher up the policy agenda. There is also a case for legislative reform to support senior living development and encourage the retired generation to downsize or 'rightsize' – unlocking the chains that are stifling the movement of UK housing stock.

John Tonkiss, CEO of McCarthy Stone, highlights the issue in the linked coverage. The reported poll identifies a lack of suitable accommodation as the main barrier stopping older people moving, with one in three respondents calling for the UK to prioritise the development of more retirement housing.

While progress is being made, with a diverse range of senior living homes coming to market, it’s clear from this poll that more needs to be done.

Any approach to closing the gap is reliant on a sustained joint effort. Through cross-sector collaboration, innovation and the legal sector also playing its part, we can address the senior living housing shortage.