A task force has been launched to establish why Scotland is falling behind England and comparable countries in housing with care provision for older people.
The Scottish Housing with Care Task Force has been established by Associated Retirement Community Operators and Sovereign Property Partnership, in conjunction with legal experts, investors, property experts and local authorities.
It plans to investigate a range of barriers holding back provision of housing with care in Scotland, such as a lack of recognition in the planning and social care systems and legal challenges in establishing a model to provide key services such as care.
Currently, older people in Scotland have less than a tenth of the provision available to them compared to New Zealand, the USA, Canada or Australia.
Given the shortage of provision in the country, the coalition hopes to secure political backing for reform in the coming year.
Andrew Fyfe, co-founder of Sovereign Property Partnership and Chair of the Task Force said: “Housing strategy in Scotland has so far failed to recognise the holistic societal benefits housing with care can provide. Building suitable housing will not only ensure that older members of our society have places to live that best suit their needs, but other benefits include freeing up mainstream housing for younger families and significant savings on the NHS if older patients have a suitable home to return to after hospitalisation.
“It was fantastic to hear the passion and knowledge in the room at the inaugural Scottish Housing-with-Care taskforce. With our population ageing rapidly, now is the time to strike. Both the private and public sector will have an important role to play in boosting supply, but neither can do so without help at Scottish Government level.”
Gareth Lyon, head of Policy and Communications at ARCO said: “Older people in Scotland deserve to have a choice over their future housing and care choices.
“Post-covid, increasing numbers of older people are seeking the security and peace-of-mind which comes from living in a community in which care and support is available but in which they can also live independently.
“With Scotland’s ageing population, the growing shortage of specialist housing provision and the social care system under increasing strain the time to act is now.”