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HMG mulls housing with care task force proposals

The government is eyeing plans for a cross-department housing with care task force as part of its imminent social care reforms, care minister Helen Whately has told Parliament.

During a Commons debate on retirement housing, Whately said Department of Health and Social Care officials are working with their counterparts in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to examine housing with care task force proposals by the Associated Retirement Community Operators (Arco).

“We need to do more and we need to increase the supply of retirement housing and extra care housing and have a broad range of the kind of housing that helps people to live with their own front door—in their own home—for longer,” she added.

“Therefore I am working with MHCLG Ministers, and my officials are working with those officials, on how we can best achieve that. We are working across government and also working with stakeholders, with the sector, on how we can achieve it.”

Whately said housing was one of the elements that will form part of social care reforms due to be published before the end of the year.

“Housing will be part of our social care reform proposals, which, as honourable members know, we have committed to bringing forward later this year,” she added.

Arco has proposed a cross-department government task force on as part of its Housing with Care Grey Paper published in March.

The report calls for greater clarity in the planning system to define different types of older people’s housing, including a new planning category for housing with care.

In addition, Arco wants better financial incentives for older people to ‘right size’ into more suitable properties, and expand the number of ‘lifetime homes’ fit for all ages.

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