Report by the Expert Group on Housing an Ageing Population

Post date: 
Tuesday, 14 February 2017

In December 2015, the Welsh Government established an Expert Group on Housing an Ageing Population. The purpose of this time-bound Group was to develop practicable and deliverable proposals to inform the Welsh Government’s policy approach to housing an ageing population.   

The Group has now submitted its report, Our Housing AGEnda: meeting the aspirations of older people in Wales.

Carl Sargeant, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children said:

"Population ageing presents a number of opportunities, as well as challenges. I welcome this report which provides an expert perspective on the central role that housing needs to play in the context of the demographic change Wales will experience over the coming period.  As people’s life expectancy increases, we need to  do all we can to ensure that people can live healthy and fulfilled lives for as long as possible.  The report highlights that this is something all of us as individuals need to think more about.  The Group also draws our attention to the wider benefits the housing system in Wales will derive from concerted action to widen the housing options available to older people.

"We need to ensure that our housing stock in Wales is fit for the future and this means responding not just to the needs but to the aspirations of our ageing population.  This report contributes to our understanding of those needs and aspirations.  It also draws attention to the range of agencies – public and private – who have a contribution to make in ensuring that the housing “offer” in Wales is enhanced.

"The report addresses 5 key themes which can be broadly summarised as follows:

  • Understanding the housing requirements of older people
  • Supporting the right choices – to “stay put” or “move on”
  • Living with confidence in older age – covering design and technology
  • A planning system which reflects the needs of our ageing population
  • Making housing more affordable and incentivising change

"The report proposes a number of actions for Welsh Government, local authorities, housing associations as well as commercial house builders.  Given the cross cutting nature of the report’s recommendations they need to be considered carefully and across government.   I will now be examining the proposals in more detail and I will update Assembly Members on next steps in due course."

Member of the Expert Group on Housing an Ageing Population, Ceri Jackson - Director RNIB Cymru and Chair of Age Alliance Wales said:

"I welcomed the opportunity to be part of this expert group on behalf of RNIB and Age Alliance Wales. It provided me with an opportunity to highlight the positive impact of RNIB Visibly Better (VB) and the group received a presentation from one of the VB partners. 

"In Wales approximately 110,000 people are living with sight loss, whilst in the UK as a whole there are almost 2 million and this is set to double to 4 million by 2050

"These increases are mainly due to an ageing population as over 80% of sight loss occurs in people over 60 years. As the population ages, the prevalence and severity of people with age related eye disease such as glaucoma, cataract and age related macular degeneration will increase causing huge challenges for health and social care...and of course housing.

"I'm pleased that the final report highlights the importance of accessibility not only in the home but in the wider community."

Please access the report here: