The Guardian News and Media Limited
Homeless organizations in California, which now has the highest numbers of reported Covid-19 infections along with New York and Washington state, say they lack the resources and government support to effectively stop the virus’ spread in encampments and shelters, and that the shortage of tests and beds could have devastating consequences.
Architects and planners need to radically rethink housing policy for older people as the number of Britons over the age of 85 is set to nearly double in the next 25 years.
England’s small towns are set to swell with increasing numbers of elderly people as they reject city living amid a hidden housing crisis caused by a lack of appropriate homes for a rapidly ageing population. The biggest increases in over-55 populations are expected to occur in small towns in the south of England.
Private rental accommodation is now more unaffordable than owner-occupied. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, people who rent, spend more of their income on housing than people with a mortgage.
The challenges of caring for older people are growing as we live longer. By 2050 an estimated 83.7 million people in the US will be over 65.
While housing is a national crisis, the most pressing concerns differ from area to area. The lack of affordable homes being built every year is a huge issue. The current crisis isn’t just about a lack of political will to invest in social housing.
By 2050, there will be more over-65s than children under 15. The number of people over 100 will increase by 1,000%. And as by then 70% of the world’s population will likely live in cites, this will present huge challenges, and cities will need to adapt. An ageing population is not inherently a bad thing: it reflects improved health and rising life expectancies.
Creating communities that meet the needs and aspirations of older people is now a major concern for social and public policy. Involving older people in the social and economic life of cities will be a crucial task for urban development in the years ahead.