London's Older Homeowners Shut Out Of Housing-with-Care, New Report Finds

ARCO's new manifesto for London, launched at City Hall

New analysis from ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators) has found that over half of London boroughs do not have any housing-with-care schemes for older homeowners, despite 7 in 10 older Londoners owning their home.

The finding comes from a new manifesto on housing-with-care for older people in the capital.

ARCO is challenging all London Borough councillors and staff who work in housing and planning to visit a modern housing-with-care scheme by the end of this year.

Drawing on new analysis from the Centre for London, ARCO's manifesto reveals that between 2011 and 2021, London saw an 8% increase in residents over 75, yet the provision of specialist housing-with-care remains extremely low.

Modern housing-with-care schemes – known as Integrated Retirement Communities (IRCs) – combine 24-hour on-site support, restaurants and gyms, as well as onsite care if it is required. They have been shown to improve wellbeing, reduce loneliness and need for personal care.

Despite these benefits, 19 out of 32 London Boroughs currently offer no such housing solutions for the city's homeowners aged over 75.

With just 8,835 units available across all tenures, London's provision of IRCs pales in comparison to other capital cities, such as Auckland in New Zealand, where 7% of the older population lives in modern housing-with-care.

James Lloyd, Director of Policy and Communications for ARCO said:

“Modern housing-with-care schemes can transform older people’s lives for the better – but Londoners are missing out. Thousands of older Londoners experience unnecessary ill-health, loneliness and loss of independence because of the lack of options in the capital.

Ahead of the Greater London elections in May, we are calling on all political parties to commit to improving housing options for older people in London.”

ARCO’s manifesto, An IRC in Every Borough, also calls for:

  • All Greater London Assembly (GLA) Members and GLA staff, London Borough Councillors and officials, who have relevant portfolios, to visit an Integrated Retirement Community in or around London by the end of 2024.
  • London Boroughs to produce an Older People’s Housing Action Plan to set out how the borough will meet its targets and which partners it will work with to do so. This plan should be joint responsibility of cabinet members responsible for adult social care, housing and public health.
  • The GLA to convene an Older People’s Housing Forum for London Boroughs so that cabinet members responsible for adult social care, public health and housing can share ideas, insight and learnings on developments in their boroughs.

Josh Cottell, Head of Research for Centre for London said:

“A growing older population in London is a cause for celebration, but at present too many are unable to access the housing they need.


Many older people face ill-health, with Londoners facing a shorter healthy life expectancy than the average across England. Meanwhile, high housing costs mean that older people who live alone in the capital have a lower income after paying for housing than the English average.


All Londoners deserve to have a genuine choice about where and how to live as they age. To achieve this, more needs to be done to ensure that we are providing the right homes in the right places.”



ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators) is the national representing the Integrated Retirement Community sector in the UK, setting standards for the sector, and representing the interests of consumers and providers at national level. ARCO has just under 30 members, comprising charity, not-for-profit and private operators.

ARCO’s report - “An IRC in Every Borough” was launched on Tuesday 20 February at an Expo event in City Hall for the sector. London’s Deputy Mayor for Housing, Tom Copley, spoke at the manifesto launch alongside residents of IRCs.

The Centre for London is an independent think tank. A voice for all London is, and could be. Its vision is a London that’s successful, equal and sustainable. A global city that works for all Londoners. They have no ties to any political party or any part of local or national government. They are a registered charity, no: 1151435.  

Key data highlighted in the manifesto include:

19 of the 32 London Boroughs – over half - have no housing-with-care at all for older homeowners to move into. The total number of units for all tenures across the capital is just 8,835.

Of the 192 housing-with-care schemes in London, 23 are for owner-occupiers (12%), eight are for private rent (4%) and 153 are social/affordable rent (80%).

There are just 23 housing-with-care schemes for owner-occupation in the capital providing 1,684 individual homes.

In the period 2011-2021, there was an 8% increase in the number of over 75s living in London. While some boroughs are not ageing fast, for others the picture is very different. Haringey saw a 20% per cent increase in the number of over 75s in this period and Brent saw a 19% growth.

 The capital now has almost half a million (467,900) people aged 75+, as well as a further half a million aged 65-74.

18% of older Londoners report having a disability that limits them a lot.

 Around one in four Londoners aged 65 are in receipt of disability benefits, such as Attendance Allowance or PIP (220,941 people or 23% of the age group).

 Across London, 7% of those aged 65+ (around 70,000 people) are in receipt of care and support (compared to 5% across England).

For further information, please contact:

James Lloyd, Director of Policy and Communications, ARCO at or 075350 88498