Churchill Campaigning for The Importance of Specialised Retirement Housing

Spencer McCarthy, CEO of Churchill Retirement Living, is actively campaigning to ensure that Government planning policy acknowledges the importance of building more specialised retirement properties.

Churchill, as one of the leading retirement property developer’s in the UK, has seen profits jump 52% this year as a direct result of increasing demand, however McCarthy is not confident that enough is being done to effectively meet the growing need for specialised accommodation for older people.

Growing Demand

We are all aware that the UK has an aging population and it is expected that by 2033 the number of people over 65 will rise by over 40%, totalling over 16 million people. Yet, the focus for the Government’s housing development plans is on starter homes and affordable housing for people at the bottom of the ladder. Churchill believes that there should be a greater focus on retirement housing which will free up more family homes and ensure that older people’s needs are properly met.

The International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) has recently issued a report on the state of the nation’s housing which highlights increasing numbers of older people living alone and in under-occupied homes. Almost 90% of people in the 65-79 age group live in an under-occupied house and over 50% live in homes with two or more unused bedrooms. However, when it comes to unlocking these larger houses problems are found at every turn.

Difficulty in Downsizing

One of the issues McCarthy feels is not being properly addressed is the numerous difficulties faced by retirees when it comes to downsizing. It is never an easy decision to leave the home you’ve raised your family in, however many people find that their large family home is ever more difficult and expensive to maintain in older age. Plus, particularly with those who now live alone, many pensioners find their large house too big. Although, even for those that want to downsize to a property that better suits their lifestyle there are many obstacles in the way.

Spencer McCarthy explains how “Stamp duty remains a prohibitive barrier for many, and despite recent changes to the system, we believe there is still more that should be done for older people.” It is estimated that if the Government were to remove stamp duty for retirees buying a smaller property it could have significant short-term gains and release approximately 111,000 family homes into the market.

Lack of Suitable Housing

Even despite the financial barriers there are other hurdles standing in the way of a comfortable retirement such as the shortage of suitable housing. Not only are retirement properties better suited for one or two person households but they often have adaptations beneficial to older people which are not found in regular housing. For example, all Churchill properties are fitted with a 24-hour emergency Careline system as well as CCTV and sensors to ensure safety and security of residents. Many other types of adaptations can be made for ease or health which make retirement properties far better suited to retirement living than regular housing.

However, despite the advantages for both residents and the wider community, the rate at which new retirement properties are being developed is far less than the rate at which the retired population is growing. As supported by the ILC report, the current level of specialist retirement and extra care homes in England can only accommodate 5% of over 65s and, if current trends continue, by 2030 there could be a housing gap of around 160,000.

House builders in the sector, such as Churchill Retirement Living, are currently subject to planning policies which mean that they have to make an affordable housing contribution for every site they develop, but McCarthy argues that this legislation only benefits first-time buyers and does not take into consideration the need for specialised retirement housing. He believes that retirement properties should be categorised under a similar bracket as affordable housing or care homes because of the positive knock-on effect it would have on the market and the community as a whole.

A Better Quality of Life

McCarthy has been in the retirement property industry for over 15 years and has found that the biggest advantage of retirement developments is that they enable a better quality of life. In retirement, people’s lifestyles change and therefore what they need from their home also changes. For example, many older people enjoy travelling abroad, or may spend time away visiting friends and family; a retirement village offers added peace of mind that their property will be safe and sound while they are away and if something were to happen there is usually onsite maintenance and security services to deal with it right away.

Retirement is a time for indulging passions, taking up new hobbies and spending more time with friends and retirement developments offer the best environment to do this. With ready-made communities, full social calendars and the opportunity to get involved in a range of activities it’s understandable why increasingly more people are choosing to move into a retirement property sooner rather than later.

To find out more about Churchill Retirement Living or retirement property options please go to or call us for free on 0800 458 1856.

The following two tabs change content below.
Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!