Download our FREE  Guide on The Social Housing Ageing and Disability Crisis

This guide explains how AKW can help social landlords meet the 6 main challenges, almost half of social housing tenants have a limiting long-term illness or disability. Allied to our rapidly ageing population and the rising number of people developing dementia, the need to provide safe social housing for those who are older and/or disabled is becoming increasingly urgent and intense.

Of particular concern to social landlords is the fact that a significant percentage of the extra 6.3 million ‘elderly’ (60+) people who will be living in the UK by 2035 will already be living in social housing or will be looking to move into social housing or will be looking to move into social housing from other tenures. Approximately 40% of those new 60+ residents will have some degree of disability.

The 6 main challenges of demographic change

  • Our rapidly changing population – In the social rented sector in England alone, there are over 1.6 million people over 55 years of age; representing almost 45% of all socially rented households.
  • Poor health and disability – Disabled people are twice as likely as non-disabled people to be social housing tenants, almost half (48.5%) of all socially rented households have at least one person whose illness or disability limits their activities.
  • The movement of older & disabled people from other tenures – It is hard for private tenants to find suitable adapted properties, or to get their private landlords to agree to adaptations due to these changes reducing the general letting appeal of their properties.
  • Dementia – The number of people in the UK with dementia is currently over 800,000, numbers are projected to increase by 40% over the next 12 years
  • Sheltered housing – More than two-thirds of all sheltered housing is in the social rented sector and over 40% of social tenants over 85 years of age live in sheltered accommodation.
  • Younger people with disabilities – More disabled children are surviving infancy and children under 16 are the fastest growing group of disabled people. One child in 20 is disabled and 99% of these live at home supported by their families.


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