Not enough homes for seniors are being built claims bank

LONDON: Developers and investors are failing to build enough homes where elderly people can live in comfort if they want to downsize or need extra care, ABN Amro said in a new report on Monday.

Just 2,800 homes build specifically for older people will be completed this year, and only 5,500 are at the planning stage to be built in the coming two years, the ABN Amro report shows.

But for the cabinet to realise its housing ambitions, 36,000 specialist units should be completed every year, and that means there are “serious shortages,” economist Paul Bisschop said. “An increasing number of elderly people are living in homes that do not meet their needs.”

The government’s ambitions include building 170,000 homes without stairs, 80,00 sheltered or clustered units and 40,000 units for people who need permanent care.

Officials also hope that by providing more specialist housing, older people will be encouraged to move into smaller homes, freeing up larger properties for new families.

Higher interest rates have had an impact on investing in real estate but the government’s plans to increase rent controls are also playing a part, Bisschop said.

“But developers are also up against a shortage of suitable building locations, higher building costs and difficulties in getting permits,” he said. “The conditions for new developments, including for seniors, are worsening.”

Despite ABN Amro’s warning, the construction sector economic institute EIB said earlier this year there is no shortage of specialist senior housing.

It said that by 2030, 340,000 households will move to a more accessible home, without stairs, while 440,000 such homes will be freed up when their owners die or move to a care home.