Half of over 50s who want home renovations ‘unable to afford’ them, study finds


The majority (63%) of people approaching later life in England see home renovations as a priority in the next two years, but half are unable to afford them.

An online survey, commissioned by The Good Home Inquiry, revealed that one in five (20%) of 50 to 70 year-olds would like to make renovations to make their home easier to live in, while 13% said they would prioritise at least one accessibility adaptation.

But half of those polled said the main reason they would not be able to carry out these renovations is because they cannot afford it.

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Evidence from the Centre for Ageing Better shows accessible housing benefits people of all ages but is essential in facilitating the wellbeing 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% 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 (28%) said finding a trustworthy tradesperson to do the job would help encourage them to do home renovations followed by a quarter (24%) who said receiving a grant to cover all or some of the costs would encourage them to make the renovations. 

Yet there was a lack of enthusiasm for the (now stopped) Green Homes Grant (GHG), with 39% of 50-70 year olds saying they had never heard of it and only a quarter (25%) of home owners aged 50-70 saying they would likely use it.

The survey also shows that the scheme may not be helping those who may need it most. More than half (51%) of homeowners on an income of more than £55,000 per year say they might use the scheme, compared with just 27% of those with an income below £20,000.

David Orr, chair of The Good Home Inquiry, said: “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.”  

Tags : accessible housingadaptationCentre for Ageing BetterGood Home Inquiryrenovations
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke

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