McCarthy Stone and membership body ARCO join Churchill Retirement Living in calling for 300,000 homes a year

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Later living house building giant McCarthy Stone and umbrella-group the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) have become the latest backers of A Fair Deal for Housing. 

This comes a day after the  £160m-turnover Churchill Retirement Living also added their name to the list of people who want to encourage the government to recommit to meeting its manifesto pledge of building 300,000 new homes a year.  As part of the campaign Housing Today will be speaking to organisations from across the whole housebuilding industry to develop solutions to help Britain hit 300,000 homes a year.

John Tonkiss, chief executive at McCarthy Stone, which has a turnover of more than £700m, said: “We are in complete support of Housing Today’s new campaign to encourage the government to recommit to its target of building 300,000 new homes a year. There is a huge demand for new later living accommodation in particular.” 

Tonkiss quoted research showing three million older people are looking to downsize, yet just about 7,000 new retirement properties are built a year. Latest Census figures show that the older population hit a record high in 2021 - nearly one in five people in England and Wales are now aged over 65, Tonkiss pointed out. 

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McCarthy Stone boss John Tonkiss believed 10% of future housing supply should be for older people

The boss of McCarthy Stone, which operates 475 developments across the UK for more than 20,000 people, added: “We believe 10% of future housing supply should be specifically for older people.”

This would increase the overall supply from about 7,000 new retirement properties a year to 30,000, which is 10% of the Government’s 300,000 target, and which would be additional supply, he said. The Department Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and its proposed housing for older people’s taskforce could create a new framework for reaching this target, Tonkiss believed. 

ARCO, which respresents 29 operators of retirement communities, has also today pledged its support.

See also>> Housing Today launches a campaign for A Fair Deal for Housing

See also>> Removing the barriers to later living development

Michael Voges, chief executive of ARCO, said: “We support the Fair Deal for Housing campaign in its aim to massively increase the supply of housing across the country, including through planning reform and expanding affordable provision.

“As well as increasing housing overall, we urgently need to increase the amount of specialist housing for older people to meet the needs of our ageing population. This has got to include a big focus on housing-with-care, which keeps people healthy and independent for longer, reduces NHS and social care costs, and frees up homes for younger people and families.”

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ARCO chief executive Micahel Voges: More later living accommodation would save NHS and social care costs

He also because the government’s older people’s housing taskforce would be “key in enabling” an increased supply of later living accommodation.

Spencer McCarthy, chair and chief executive of £160m-turnover Churchill Retirement Living, said yesterday: “We believe the retirement housing sector on its own has the potential to deliver up to 30,000 new homes per year to meet the demands of an ageing population.”

A Fair Deal for Housing 

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Housing Today believes the government should not back away from its manifesto pledge of building 300,000 new homes a year by the middle of the decade. We badly need more homes, and a lack of supply is a major factor in creating problems of affordability for both buyers and renters.

Over the next few months, Housing Today  will be exploring potential solutions to help us ramp up housebuilding to 300,000. These are likely to include different ways of working, funding asks of government and policy ideas that could boost housebuilding.

We want to hear from you: what do you think can make a difference at a policy level?

What can the industry do better?

We believe that, with the right commitments from ministers and the industry, it is possible to build more homes and help the government to meet its objectives to “build beautiful”, improve quality and safety, boost home ownership and level up the UK.

Click here to find out more about the campaign