I read the Intergenerational Foundation’s (IF) report and felt very angry on behalf of all older people. How dare these so-called experts accuse older people of “hoarding property”. Surely you have to have more than one of something to be a hoarder and wanting to stay in your own home doesn’t seem to me to be the sort of offence that should be punished by higher taxes as this ‘think tank’ suggests.
Older people should be free to choose how they live and the way to free up the housing stock is by offering them something better.
In older age people don’t want to rattle around in a high maintenance property but equally they don’t expect to be ordered to go and live in a shoebox and, most importantly, they want to be part of a community that stimulates and supports.
Let’s focus upon offering a better alternative, not beating up older people and blaming them for the ‘intergenerational crisis’.
Retirement village operators like us are developing better alternatives for this age group but we constantly come up against planning hurdles that prevent us from delivering it.
Local authorities badge us as general residential builders but as the IF demonstrates there is a real and growing social need for retirement housing and purpose-built villages that companies like ours provide.
If the findings and policy options put forward by the ‘think tank’ can stimulate conversation and ultimate change around the current planning system, then we welcome the debate but let’s increase choice for older people, not start looking at Stalinist rationing of housing.