Housing for older people: government response to the Select Committee report

This is the government response to the second report of session 2017-19 of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee inquiry into housing for older people.

The Select Committee report stated that given the enduring popularity of bungalows among older people and their accessibility features, more councils and developers should consider the feasibility of building bungalows. The goverment agreed that local authorities should be planning for the future housing needs of older people so that they are able to live safely, independently and comfortably in their homes for as long as possible, or move to more suitable accommodation if they so wish. The governemnt added that that is why planning guidance makes clear that local authorities should be planning for various general housing options, including bungalows, which are suitable for independent living for older people. Where bungalows have been identified as suitable solutions, the government encourage local authorities and developers to take an innovative approach that makes the most effective use of land.

The Select Committee report also stated that the government, in partnership with the UK Cohousing Network, should produce guidance for local authorities on supporting cohousing groups through the planning system. The government in response agreed about the benefits of cohousing. The state that local authorities are best placed to understand the housing needs in their area and they are expected to work closely with key partners and local communities in deciding what type of housing is needed. The Government recognises the importance of planning for the range of housing needs of older people, including cohousing and other intergenerational models, in order to allow them to live independently and safely in their own home for as long as possible.

The Government state that planning guidance makes it clear that plan-making authorities should consider the size, location and quality of dwellings for older people and the Government continues to support cohousing options where they meet local need. The Government will engage with the UK Cohousing Network to help them prepare best practice guidance, which is helpful and consistent with national planning policy.

Author: DHCLG

Date: September 2018

This item updates DCP section 7.231

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