Policy Reports

Read our latest reports calling for meaningful action and changes to current policy

As part of ARCO’s role to lead thinking and ideas on Integrated Retirement Communities, and push the Government towards meaningful action, we have produced a number of high-profile reports on different aspects of the Integrated Retirement Community sector, the benefits it brings to older people and society at large, and policy recommendations to help bring these benefits to many more people in future.

Below you will find information on some of ARCO’s most recent policy reports, a number of which have been published in partnership with other leading organisations.  


ARCO's Housing-with-Care Manifesto for Greater London: An IRC in Every Borough

Even though London's population is ageing and the benefits of Housing-with-Care are widely known, the provision of such housing in the capital is extremely low across all types of tenure.

For example, despite 70% of Londoners aged over-75 owning their home, 19 of the 32 London Boroughs - over half - have no Housing-with-Care at all for older homeowners to move into.

This manifest for Greater London sets out recommendations for the GLA, London Boroughs and Central Government.

Download the Report



ARCO's Manifesto for Older People's Housing: An IRC in Every Town

A shortage of Integrated Retirement Communities (IRCs) and lack of support for the sector is resulting in thousands of people in late old age experiencing unnecessary ill-health, loneliness and loss of independence, as well as expensive long-term care fees.

The UK now lags far behind comparable countries in the provision of IRCs.

This policy manifesto from ARCO argues that every older person should have the option of living in an IRC, wherever they live and whatever their resources – and sets out what policymakers need to do to achieve this.

Download the Report


Leasehold Plus: The next step for home ownership in IRCs

What is the future of home ownership in the Integrated Retirement Community sector? ‘Leasehold Plus’ represents a bold, but practical, vision for further enhancing consumer protection and increasing flexibility for residents.

Developed by ARCO with legal support from ARCO Strategic Partner Trowers & Hamlins, the Leasehold Plus model would:

- Extend the reach of consumer protection so that – uniquely in the UK property sector - every sale of a unit in an Integrated Retirement Community is subject to full protection under consumer law.

- Improve dispute resolution mechanisms, including extending the remit of Ombudsmen.

- Include flexibility to tailor leases, enabling them to be kept up to date and respond to changing customer preferences.

 Implementing Leasehold Plus would not cost the government anything, and ARCO believes it should be adopted into law immediately.  For more information, click here.

Download the report


Mayhew Review final report: Future proofing retirement living – November 2022

The final report of the Mayhew Review – ‘Future proofing retirement living: Easing the housing and care crises’ – argues that we need to build 50,000 new homes for older people each year to tackle the housing and care crises, equating to one in four of all new homes. The report follows extensive research and statistical analysis commissioned by ARCO and conducted by Professor Mayhew of the International Longevity Centre – UK and Bayes Business School, drawing on input from over 40 experts.

Achieving a big growth in older people’s housing would help people stay healthy for longer, reduce the burden on the NHS and care homes, free up housing and surplus bedrooms for younger families, and play a major part in revitalising declining high streets, Mayhew says.

The report includes key recommendations for Government, including launching the Older People’s Housing Taskforce immediately, reforming planning rules, and putting Stamp Duty on the same footing for last-time buyers as it is for first-time buyers.

Download the report


Putting the 'care' in Housing-with-Care – November 2021

This report demonstrates the high-quality of the care provided in Integrated Retirement Communities, as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of this care, and the ability of Integrated Retirement Communities to help tackle the care workforce challenges facing the social care sector.

The report includes an analysis of the CQC ratings of care agencies run by ARCO Members in Integrated Retirement Communities - showing that 97% are rated Good or Outstanding - and finds that tens of thousands of care staff could be saved if the Integrated Retirement Community sector expands to similar levels seen in New Zealand, Australia and the US.

As well as highlighting new evidence and data, the report contains a series of personal case studies about the way in which high-quality care has improved the lives of residents living in different Integrated Retirement Communities.

Download the report


Housing with Care Grey Paper – March 2021

You’ve heard of Government Green Papers and White Papers. Now ARCO has published a special Housing with Care Grey Paper, bringing together personal stories and policy ideas from a range of MPs, Peers, charity and private sector leaders.

Each of the Grey Paper’s 14 expert contributors has written about their own and their family’s experiences of housing and care and made one concrete policy suggestion to help strengthen the Integrated Retirement Community sector for older people.

Authors include Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, Damian Green MP, Bob Blackman MP, Dr. Lisa Cameron MP, Lord Foulkes, Lord Shipley, Jane Ashcroft CBE, Nick Sanderson, Phil Bayliss, Cllr David Fothergill, Chandra McGowan, Professor Les Mayhew, Jeremy Porteus and Philippa Fieldhouse.

Download the report


Coming of age? Better housing options for older people – December 2020

This report summarises two polls which Later Life Ambitions (LLA) and ARCO ran among their memberships in Autumn 2020 – showing strong agreement that more needs to be done to expand the range of housing and care options for older people, that there is too much uncertainty and not enough transparency around the range of options which currently exist, and that there are clear steps which the Government can and should take to help expand supply and boost consumer confidence.

LLA and ARCO make eight core policy recommendations to bring about better housing options for older people, with a particular focus on Integrated Retirement Communities.

Read about the survey results and policy recommendations




Planning, clarity and certainty: The view from the sector – July 2020

In February 2020, planning experts Carterwood hosted a roundtable to discuss barriers and solutions to planning in the Integrated Retirement Community sector – and this report brings these to life with new data and policy ideas.

As well as showcasing statistics on the differing levels of planning success for Integrated Retirement Communities since 2015, the document shines a light on the difficulties faced by many operators in growing provision, such as a lack of knowledge about Integrated Retirement Communities among planning authorities, no clear definition in the planning system, and a lack of a shared understanding of need.

The report includes proposed solutions for change, such as a new planning use class for Integrated Retirement Communities, or clarifications on when Integrated Retirement Communities would fall under existing use classes.

Download the report



Planning for Retirement: How Retirement Communities can help meet the needs of our ageing population – June 2020

Produced together with the County Councils Network (CCN), this report highlights how just 0.6% of over-65s – 75,000 people – live in an Integrated Retirement Community where older people own or rent their own flat in a place with onsite care and a range of services and amenities.

The report argues that local councils and providers should be given the tools by government to incentivise and accelerate these developments, as research shows a vast range of health and wellbeing benefits for older people, with residents for example spending up to 12 days less on average in hospital due to unplanned accidents compared to those in regular housing.

CCN and ARCO argue that these types of community should form part of the conversation on future reform of adult social care in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic – with the Government’s long-awaited proposals on this set to be published in the aftermath

Read the report and its full recommendations


Too little, too late? Housing for an ageing population – June 2020

Authored by Professor Les Mayhew of City University’s Business School, this report provides a close analysis of the UK’s housing market to show that there are more that 15 million surplus bedrooms in large family properties lived in by over-65s – and that all generations would benefit from better options for older people to downsize into.

The report makes a number of concrete recommendations to achieve this and create a better housing market for all, including a new national strategy on housing for older people, requirements for local authorities to plan for retirement housing, and incentives for older people to downsize before social care is needed.

Download the report