A study says that increasing numbers of pensioners are facing a ‘huge challenge’ to their independence with a lack of suitable, single storey properties being built.
The report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Older people says that, particularly for older people living in rural areas of the UK, a choice of suitable housing is limited and developers should consider building more bungalows.
The research highlights how, within the next two decades, nearly half of rural households will be owned by an over 65 year old. It recommends that town councils, housing associations, community-led initiatives and small builders do more to ensure provision of new homes for pensioners, for example:
- the creation of small village developments with several bungalows on an unused piece of land;
- larger scale retirement schemes in nearby towns to offer better and more suitable choices.
Chairman of the group, Lord Best, commented: “For all the advantages of living in the countryside, life can be pretty miserable if your home is no longer right for you, if you can no longer manage the steps and stairs, if maintaining the property is costing too much, if keeping warm is a trial and your energy bills a nightmare, if you can no longer tend the once beautiful garden.”
Retirement house builder McCarthy & Stone is reportedly building more bungalows, with over 240 of these single storey properties across 15 different schemes.