Benefits of retirement housing explained in new report

Benefits of retirement housing explained in new report

Newcastle University has launched a new report “Retirement Living Explained” highlighting the benefits of retirement housing.

A new document entitled Retirement Living Explained: A Guide for Planning and Design Professionals, has been published by the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University in partnership with Churchill Retirement Living and the Housing LIN (Learning and Improvement Network).

The 68-page guide – available to download here – provides a fresh perspective on how retirement living should be defined, getting to the heart of the changing needs and expectations for this niche sector of development. Its key conclusions are that specialist retirement housing offers wide-reaching benefits that meet the three pillars of sustainable development – economic, environmental, and social – and that these benefits apply to individuals, communities and society as a whole.

The guide represents the culmination of a three year PhD project carried out by Newcastle University’s Sam Clark under the supervision of Professor Rose Gilroy and Professor Adam Sharr. The project was funded by Churchill Retirement Living, with its developments and Owners providing the basis for the research. Its aim was to audit the national need for older people’s housing, documenting the ageing population’s aspirations and reviewing current practices. In turn it will influence the design response to retirement living developments in the future.

As the project nears completion, Sam Clark has used his research findings to produce the “Retirement Living Explained” guide, which was launched on Friday 7th April with a panel discussion from a range of key experts on the topic of older people’s housing. Presenters included Jeremy Porteus (Director of Housing LIN), Spencer McCarthy (Chairman & CEO of Churchill Retirement Living), and Andrew Burgess (Managing Director of Planning Issues).

Rose Gilroy, Professor of Ageing, Policy & Planning, said: “Newcastle University is committed to research that has real world impacts and we are proud to have partnered Churchill Retirement Living in exploring one of the major societal challenges of our time: the ability of older people to live in housing that contributes to their independence and well-being.  Our hope is that this research informed document will be read and used widely to stimulate more housing options.”

The guide’s author, PhD Student Sam Clark added: “Retirement Living Explained is the product of a close, yet critical collaboration with Churchill Retirement Living. The research for this publication was made possible through full access to the company’s staff and customers, with all parties being open to a reflective and reflexive process. As an architect, I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to pursue applied research within the construction industry, in the form of a PhD by Creative Practice”

Spencer McCarthy, Chairman and CEO of Churchill Retirement Living, said: “We know the UK population is ageing. The number of households aged 65+ will account for over half of new households in the future. However, there is a chronic under supply of suitable accommodation for older people. Up to 3.5 million older people are interested in buying or renting a retirement property, but the next generation of older people have enjoyed unprecedented improvements in living standards and have alternative expectations. We need to establish what these expectations are so we can drive a step-change in housing choice for older people.”

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