Survey finds half of over-50s ‘unable to afford’ crucial home renovations
A new online survey commissioned by the Good Home Inquiry has found that nearly two-thirds of people in later life in England see home renovations as a priority in the next two years. But half of those aged 50-70 polled said the main reason they would not be able to carry out all the renovations they say are a priority is because they cannot afford it.
Launched last year, the Good Home Inquiry aims to tackle England’s “housing crisis” and improve housing for older and disabled people. Commissioned by the Centre for Ageing Better, it is an Inquiry into England’s housing policies to determine causes of, and solutions to, the country’s current housing crisis.
Now a new survey from the inquiry polled more than 1,000 adults in England aged 18-75 about home renovations to find out more about barriers to renovations and the importance of accessible adaptations.
Among the top reasons for home renovations were maintenance, repair or necessity (mentioned by 50 percent), comfort (49 percent), and making their home more attractive (41 percent). One in five 50-70-year-olds polled would like to make renovations to make their home easier to live in. 13 percent said they would prioritise at least one accessibility adaptation.
Evidence from the Centre for Ageing Better shows poor-quality housing is detrimental to people of all ages but the negative effects, such as respiratory conditions caused by cold, can be exacerbated for people in later life.
Similarly, accessible housing benefits people of all ages but is essential in facilitating the well-being and independence of disabled and older people who are at increased risk of serious injury from fall hazards.
The survey reveals that cost remains a major barrier with 50 percent of people aged 50-70 wanting to make changes to their homes saying they would be ‘unable to afford’ all the renovations they need. Nearly three in ten said finding a trustworthy tradesperson to do the job would help encourage them to do home renovations followed by a quarter who said receiving a grant to cover all or some of the costs would encourage them to make the renovations.
David Orr, Chair, The Good Home Inquiry: “We understand now more than ever that our homes are essential to our health and wellbeing. Many of us have spent the majority of the past year in our houses so we have become acutely aware of how our homes do and don’t work for us.
“It’s important that our homes suit our changing needs as we age. Renovations that improve accessibility allow us to remain independent in our homes, and homes free from hazards keep us safe.
“But there needs to be better advice and financial support for those wishing to make renovations. No one should be living in a house that poses a threat to their health and safety.”