With a changing demographic in the UK, Arthur takes a look at how the government is tackling this problem.
The new government white paper will introduce incentives for older homeowners to sell their house. This comes during a time where the demographic of the UK is changing. The aging population in the UK is having the effect of blocking larger houses for younger generations, especially those that are looking to start a family.
Housing minister Gavin Barwell MP had this to say:
First of all, we’ve got a lot of demographic change in the country and an increasing elderly population, so it’s not just about how many houses you build, but are you building the right kind of houses”
The white paper will incentivise the building of new, better quality sheltered accommodation. It will also aim to break the dominance of a small number of large building firms. Some local councils, throughout the country, have already started introducing incentives. Redbridge in north-east London offers financial advice and helps to cover the cost of moving into sheltered accommodation.
By making it easier for elderly people to move in to sheltered accommodation, Barwell hopes that it will release family homes that the country is “desperate for”. On top of this, Barwell hinted at the fact that planning laws may be changed to make it easier for developers to build ‘family friendly’ properties.
Whilst these changes are in the right vein, they do not take into account the general unaffordability of larger properties for most people in the UK. Furthermore, nobody will be forced to sell their property meaning that the success of the incentive will be down to the individuals that it affects, namely older homeowners.