Greater Lincolnshire - Planning for and delivering to meet the housing needs of an ageing population

The Housing LIN worked with the ten local authorities in the Greater Lincolnshire partnership to develop an extensive evidence base in relation to the future housing needs and aspirations of older people and a delivery programme was created in response to this evidence.

This involved:

  • Undertaking extensive quantitative and qualitive research to provide a comprehensive understanding of the housing needs of older citizens over the next 20 years.
  • Developing and implementing localised delivery plans that will result in the types and volumes of housing, specialised and mainstream, that are required to meet this need.

The challenge

To understand the nature of the future market for housing and accommodation that will be better suited to meet the needs of the ageing population in Greater Lincolnshire.


The proportion of the population of Greater Lincolnshire that is over 55 years is increasing and is projected to increase further to 2035.

Lincolnshire has high numbers of older people, higher than the national average. There are 176,781 people aged 65 and over who live in Lincolnshire as of the end of 2017. They constitute 48 per cent of the overall population. Lincolnshire’s population is ageing. The number of older people (aged 65 and over) is predicted to increase by 44,286 to 221,067 by 2030 (25 per cent growth from 2018).

In North Lincolnshire there is estimated to be an increase in the 55 and over population of 21 per cent by 2030, and an increase in the 65 and over population of 31 per cent by 2030.

In North East Lincolnshire there is estimated to be an increase in the 55 and over population of 15 per cent by 2030, and an increase in the 65 and over population of 23 per cent by 2030.

The greatest growth across Greater Lincolnshire is in the ‘older, older’ population of people aged 80 and over.

There is not currently a balance of specialised housing and accommodation choices available for the older population in Greater Lincolnshire:

  • Overwhelmingly the most prevalent type of older people’s housing is sheltered housing and other age-designated housing in the social rented sector.
  • The current prevalence of private retirement housing for sale is very limited in most areas of Greater Lincolnshire.
  • There is limited housing with care/extra care housing provision for rent for example when compared with the prevalence of residential care beds.
  • There is very little housing with care available to older people who wish to purchase.

There is a high prevalence of residential care beds, for example when compared to average level of provision in English local authorities.

The solution

The Greater Lincolnshire local authority partners have produced a robust quantitative evidence base to inform future demand for specialist and other types of housing suited to an ageing population.

The Greater Lincolnshire partners have complemented this with detailed qualitative evidence with:

  • extensive research directly with older people from all socio-economic backgrounds and from all housing tenures regarding their future housing preferences and requirements
  • a survey of older citizens to secure a larger sample of older citizens’ perspectives about their housing requirements
  • discussion with local stakeholders and housing providers about their interest and appetite for developing a wider mix of housing options of all tenures suited to an older population.

The Greater Lincolnshire partners have also identified a range of contemporary practice examples of housing for older people and their application to Greater Lincolnshire.

The solution is a plan that will deliver a wider mix of housing and accommodation options that reflect the needs and aspirations of older people to have a more attractive range of housing choices in later life.

Sustaining the approach

The Greater Lincolnshire partners have put in place delivery arrangements that reflect the localised requirements of the Lincolnshire district councils, aligned with a Lincolnshire county wide approach, and the two unitary councils within the partnership. This reflects the varying housing requirements of older people in different areas of Greater Lincolnshire.

 Lessons learned

The learning for the Greater Lincolnshire partners and other local authorities has been:

  • It is necessary to develop the broadest evidence base to inform a strategic approach to planning for and delivery of the mix of housing required to meet the requirements of an ageing population.
  • The importance of engaging with different types of housing providers from the housing association, charitable and private sectors to encourage and facilitate a genuine range of housing options and choices.
  • Drawing on a range of contemporary practice examples to provide inspiration for large and small scale, urban and rural housing solutions, and that are appropriate for the Greater Lincolnshire context.
  • Recognising that delivering changes in the housing market that are relevant to older people is a long-term project that requires sustained effort.


Di Krochmal, West Lindsey District Council

Ian Copeman, Housing LIN