A report published last week shows that increasing numbers of elderly people are occupying accommodation that could help to meet the growing shortage of family housing.
The study was jointly carried out by the population and housing research group at Anglia Ruskin University and the retirement housing group at the Home Builders Federation.
It points out that while the government's priority is to build starter homes, "last-time" buyers make up half of all one-person households. As a result, too many homes aimed at young single people have been built and not enough have been provided for older individuals.
The report urges local planning authorities to bear in mind the positive contribution that providing more specialist retirement housing can make to meeting wider housing requirements.
Planning for Smaller Households is available from Vivien Aldred (tel) 01603 507855.