Councils should be legally required to ensure there are enough retirement homes in their local area when making housing plans, a think tank has said today.
The International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) has found nearly nine in ten 65-79 year-olds live in under-occupied housing. Half of these have two or more excess bedrooms.
At the same time, the research found there is only enough specialist housing to cater for 5% of this age group. This could lead to a retirement housing gap of 376,000 homes by 2050.
Baroness Sally Greengross, chief executive of ILC-UK said: 'Downsizing can also ensure that older people live in properties that allow them to stay in their own homes for longer, and can release equity that can be used to fund social care in later live.'
She added: 'Local authorities must have a duty to assess the needs of their older population when making housing plans, and ensure that these needs are met before plans are put in place.'