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PR 08 - 'age friendly' homes policy positive

25 February 2008

The Government's plan to ensure that all new housing developments incorporate \"age friendly\" features is a sound step in addressing the needs of Britain's ageing population, but the new target must sit comfortably alongside the raft of other housing targets currently in the pipeline.

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) believes the Government's new 'Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods' strategy, which was released today (Monday), can help ensure that new developments make proper provision for the elderly.

The RTPI supports the development of houses that enable the delivery of personal care and support services in the home. In partnership with the Department of Health (DH) and the Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP) the RTPI recently issued a guidance note to planners on the provision of extra care housing to the elderly and mobility impaired (1), which outlined the importance of adaptable housing in giving the elderly the choice to live independently for longer.

In welcoming the Government's policy, which states that from 2013 all new homes should be built to \"age friendly\" standards, the RTPI has warned that particular care must be placed in how the new target will fit in among the numerous other housing targets the Government has already put forward.
(Existing targets include the development of 3m new homes and 10 new Eco Towns by 2020 along with plans to make all new homes carbon neutral by 2016)

RTPI Secretary General, Robert Upton, said: \"Responding to the growing demand for extra care housing in England is rightly a priority. Delivering the right sort of housing now will allow more elderly people the opportunity to keep their independence in the future.

\"However, the Government must be careful to ensure that in meeting the housing needs of an ageing population it doesn't lose sight of other key objectives, which include providing affordable housing and ensuring environmentally sustainable development. There is no point in increasing standards if the cost of doing so means the average family can no longer afford to move in.\"

For further information please contact:

Dale Atkinson, RTPI Communications Manager: 0207 929 9479, mob. 07870 672 020

Notes to Editors:

(1) The RTPI's Extra Care Housing Good Practice Note can be found here.