Later living rental options could ease shortage of retirement homes – Show House | #seniorliving | #elderly | #seniors
Mark Dickinson, Chief Executive of Lifestory Group, explains how providing more rental homes across later living will boost the supply of homes for a rapidly ageing population in the post- pandemic era.
Mark said: “2020 was forecasted to be a cumulative record year for the senior housing market with over £1.5bn anticipated to be invested in the sector but the arrival of the pandemic shone a different type of light on the supply and demand with an increase in requirements for homes offering safety within a community setting in later living and the need for solutions that will drive the market forward in the longer term.”
Mark believes that an effective way to rectify the imbalance in supply is the introduction of more mixed tenures across senior housing, more notably rental options. Lifestory has rolled out two rental options with no exit fees and assured tenancies across their later living portfolio throughout the pandemic; Choice Flex is the option to rent long term with Choice to Buy offering a rent before buying option. Both rental options offer more flexibility and choice for changing lifestyle needs post-pandemic which have grown in popularity since their launch.
‘’We strongly believe that more rental models need to be more easily available to suit the needs of the ageing population especially after the pandemic. Overall, the number of private senior living rental properties in the UK is forecast to increase by 160% in the next five years from almost 5,000 currently to more than 13,000 by 2024 . At Lifestory, we have seen a notable 35% increase in demand for rental properties over the past year and predict that this will rise exponentially over the next five years as the senior living market levels up.
“Living in a suitable home as you age is crucially important to a good later life, which many mainstream privately rented homes struggle to provide as they are not built for ageing in mind. Our recent Homes for Later Living report has showcased that an average person aged 80 feels as good as someone 10 years younger after moving from mainstream housing to housing designed especially for later living. To create attractive rental solutions for a demographic that is more used to traditional homeownership, we need to create communities that will meet their specific needs as it does for the younger generation; this includes good design, location, connectivity, and integration within the existing community.
“At Lifestory, we pride ourselves on creating our later living communities in well-connected locations to ensure our customers benefit from convenience and feel part of the local community.
“Good efficient design is a key aspect which has driven the mainstream rental market. To successfully transition this element into later living, the homes need to be designed around the changing needs of the older population. For example, across our Lifestory later living portfolio, we offer a range of health and wellness facilities which has been a key driver for the rental enquiries at these communities.
“Building healthy communities with access to communal spaces with additional security through our on-site Lifehosts who support customers with their daily lives are key factors which should be replicated into later living rental models.’’