Downsizing could create problems not solutions

As so often, I find myself in agreement with Tony Fyson, this time in respect of his column on the elderly being blamed for the housing crisis (Planning, 4 November, p16).

The pressure being exerted by the so-called Intergenerational Foundation for senior citizens to downsize is just another form of unsolicited meddling in peoples' lives and just the sort of thing that indirectly tends to give planning a bad name.

People should have the right to enjoy their lives and homes in their declining years free of such interference. After all, they have presumably worked all their lives towards the enjoyment of a generous scale of accommodation, which many see as beneficial to themselves and their families.

The Intergenerational Foundation also fails to recognise that if droves of oldies were to decamp and downsize, this would have the undesired effect of reducing the supply of smaller homes and pushing up their value, to the disadvantage of younger buyers seeking property within their price range. Goodness knows this situation is difficult enough already and getting worse all the time.

The apparent craze for downsizing in some quarters is like a contagious disease and so must be treated with the utmost caution unless personal circumstances dictate otherwise.

Michael Parfect, Lewes, East Sussex.


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