Urgent action is required to reverse the shortage of housing for older and disabled people as Scotland struggles to meet the needs of a rapidly ageing population, according to a new alliance of charities and other organisations.

Age Scotland, the Scottish Older People’s Assembly, Castle Rock Edinvar, and McCarthy and Stone have joined forces to launch the Older People’s Housing Coalition to put older and disabled people’s housing needs at the centre of the planning system.

The coalition is urging the Scottish Government to make housing for older people and those with disabilities a specific priority in its Planning Bill, with clear national and local targets similar to those for affordable housing. Planning authorities should be obliged to identify appropriate sites close to local shops, GPs, services, and transport links.

It is also pushing for “age friendly design” to be incorporated into the planning process, with elements including accessibility, energy efficiency, adaptability, and shared facilities.

Within a generation, almost a third of all Scots will be aged over 60, increasing to almost 1.8 million by 2039. Those aged over 75 will have nearly doubled from 0.43 million to 0.8 million.

Last week it was revealed that research commissioned by the government found that the next generation of affordable homes will be too small for many disabled people who rely on wheelchairs or other mobility aids as the standards being followed do not allow sufficient floor space for wheelchairs.


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