Former PM pledges support for retirement communities sector growth

Retirement community

Theresa May has pledged her support for the private retirement communities sector.

Will Bax, CEO of Retirement Villages Group (RVP), whose facilities offer domiciliary care on site, said the former Prime Minister discussed the sector at length and acknowledged the growth in demand for the model during a meeting with his organisation and Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO).

“Mrs May was very receptive to our thoughts and we had an extremely positive and constructive conversation,” explained Bax, who hosted the meeting at the group’s retirement village in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

“She recognises the challenges of our ageing society and the role of private retirement communities in responding to the growing demand for more supported living.

“We discussed the need for a broader range of product and tenure choices offering greater affordability and reaching as wide a breadth of consumers as possible. We also shared our thoughts with Mrs May around the idea of a government task force to support growth in the sector and consider issues around planning reform, tenure and consumer rights.”

RVG, as part of ARCO, said it is committed to growing provision of retirement communities in order to help meet the UK’s future housing needs.

ARCO’s Vision 2030 sets out a goal to provide ‘retirement community’ housing with care to 250,000 older people in the UK by 2030 which it says will result in huge benefits to the UK health, social care and housing systems as well as the wider community.

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Last year, Care Minister Caroline Dinenage said retirement communities will play a major role in meeting the housing with care needs of the ageing population.

Speaking at ARCO’s What Next? 2019 Conference in July, the minister said housing with care, commonly referred to as retirement communities, has never played a more important role in health and social care, helping to keep older people healthier, more active and less lonely.

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Sarah Clarke

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