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Elderly should be provided with help when downsizing their home

14th September 2015

Housing experts have suggested that older people should be given government help when looking to downsize their home.

In a report produced by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, it has been proposed that the government could help with moving costs, provide tax breaks or create an information service that would be tailored to the needs of older people. For example, the government could offer a fund to support moving costs, or a stamp duty discount. This may help to encourage older people to downsize, which many have considered, yet not followed through.

According to figures released by the RCIS, more than a third of people aged over 55 have discussed moving into a smaller home, yet just seven per cent have actually done so. This support could help many older people, including those who need an adaptable home and the funds to cover the cost of a stairlift or having a homelift installed make an informed decision more quickly.

Helping both the new and older generation

The suggested incentives would also help to free up under-occupied homes, which would in turn ease pressure on the housing market, as more houses would be available for sale. Transactions for housing have dropped to their lowest levels in 30 years, and it is hoped that this would also help to address Scotland’s housing crisis.

In an article published by Herald Scotland, Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland said: “For older people in difficult to adapt homes downsizing can often be a good option, however, moving from the family home can be a daunting and complicated prospect. Offering support and information for older people who want to downsize, and enabling them to make informed and independent decisions about their homes, is a good thing.”

The best age to downsize your home was recently announced at the 50+ Show at London’s Olympia, where it was revealed that at 64 your mind is still mentally agile enough to deal with the house sale process. It was also found that the main reasons for wanting to downsize included inconveniences such as unused rooms, the upkeep of the property, and the maintenance of gardens.

Image Credit: William Murphy (

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only and are up to date as of the time of publishing