New “Retirement Living Explained” guide highlights the benefits of retirement housing

A new document entitled Retirement Living Explained: A Guide for Planning and Design Professionals, has today been published by the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University in partnership with Churchill Retirement Living and the Housing LIN (Learning and Improvement Network).

The comprehensive new 68-page guide available to download here provides a fresh perspective on exactly how retirement living should be defined, getting to the heart of the changing needs and expectations for this niche sector of development, and illustrating its benefits for individuals, communities and society as a whole.

The guide represents the culmination of a three year PhD project carried out by Newcastle University’s Sam Clark under the supervision of Professor Rose Gilroy and Professor Adam Sharr. The project was funded by Churchill Retirement Living, with its developments and Owners providing the basis for the research.

As the PhD project nears completion, Sam Clark has used his research findings to produce the guide, which was unveiled at a launch event in London on Friday 7th April attended by a wide range of planners, sector specialists and industry professionals. Presenters included Jeremy Porteus (Director of Housing LIN), Spencer McCarthy (Chairman & CEO of Churchill Retirement Living), and Andrew Burgess (Managing Director of Planning Issues).

Spencer McCarthy, Chairman and CEO of Churchill Retirement Living, said: “We know the UK population is ageing. The number of households aged 65+ will account for over half of new households in the future. However, there is a chronic under supply of suitable accommodation for older people. Up to 3.5 million older people are interested in buying or renting a retirement property, but the next generation of older people have enjoyed unprecedented improvements in living standards and have alternative expectations. We need to establish what these expectations are so we can drive a step-change in housing choice for older people.

“At Churchill we believe that clearly defined types of housing for older people are required, including retirement living, and that local authorities should be setting specific housing targets for each type. We also believe the guide can help inform a more coordinated local and national approach towards achieving this. I would like to thank Sam Clark and Newcastle University for their excellent work to date on this project.”

The guide’s author, PhD Student Sam Clark added: “Retirement Living Explained is the product of a close, yet critical collaboration with Churchill Retirement Living. The research for this publication was made possible through full access to the company’s staff and customers, with all parties being open to a reflective and reflexive process. As an architect, I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to pursue applied research within the construction industry, in the form of a PhD by Creative Practice.”