Trade body Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) is calling on political parties to support the creation of a “world class” retirement community sector in the UK.
The organisation said the UK must set itself the ambition to become a “global leader” in innovative solutions that address the housing with care needs of an ageing population.
In order to achieve this, ARCO said party leaders should commit to providing an additional 175,000 older people with access to next generation retirement communities by 2030 and establish a cross-government task force to review the regulatory obstacles standing in the way of accelerated growth in the sector.
The party leaders must also commit to empowering and protecting older people in their choices and decisions concerning their housing with care, including clarity over any fees and charges they face, the trade body urged.
Michael Voges, executive director of ARCO said: “This election is an opportunity for all parties to make a clear statement of their ambitions to grow a world class housing with care system for older people in the UK.
“Currently the UK lags well behind comparable countries in its provision of housing with care. Changing this will unlock billions of pounds of savings for the NHS and social care, free up hundreds of thousands of houses, attract tens of billions of pounds of investment and improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of older people.
“This is a policy all parties should be able to get behind – showing leadership and taking a long-term view of how we provide for our ageing population.”
ARCO said it has contacted hundreds of parliamentary candidates from the main political parties to sign up to a similar pledge for candidates, with a view to continuing and expanding the work it has been doing with its existing cross-party group of parliamentary supporters.