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ARCO launches Advisory Council to shape future of housing-with-care

9 October, 2020

Housing-with-care representative body ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators), has launched an Advisory Council to help shape the sector’s future at what it says is a pivotal moment for housing and social care reform.

The ARCO Advisory Council, which brings together leading sector experts in the key disciplines relevant to the sector, will meet regularly and make recommendations to the ARCO Board.

ARCO says it created the council because there has never been a more important time for drawing on wide-ranging expertise in the housing-with-care sector. ARCO’s executive director Michael Voges said provision of housing-with-care was geared for a period of rapid expansion, with the legislative and regulatory framework for the sector set to change considerably over the next decade.

“Our country is at an absolutely critical moment in deciding how we best care for and support older people,” said Mr Voges.

“More of the same is not going to suffice, and we urgently need to expand models of housing and care that keep older people safe and secure, while boosting independence, health and wellbeing.”

The Advisory Council’s membership comes from a number of key areas, including legal services (Trowers & Hamlins, Gowling, Pinsent Masons and BCLP), consultancy (Carterwood, CBRE, JLL, Knight Frank, Savills, Whiteley Consulting), recruitment and people (Badenoch & Clark), sales (Sherpa), research (Promatura International), design & build (Castleoak), architecture (nicol thomas and Urban Edge), technology (Tunstall) and investment (Octopus Real Estate).

“It is incredibly exciting to welcome such a wide-ranging group of experts and leading voices to the ARCO Advisory Council,” said Mr Voges.

“By pooling knowledge and insights on law, the customer experience, design, technology, healthcare and much more, ARCO will be in a much stronger position to help the housing-with-care sector to flourish.”

The Advisory Council will focus much of its attention on helping to shape the policy, investment and operational landscape for housing-with-care. While the government is currently consulting on changes to the planning system and will next year push ahead with social care reform, ARCO is urging political leaders to act now to expand housing-with-care.

The representative body has recently urged all three main parties to immediately support the sector so that older people are not left behind again. ARCO?says that, despite successfully shielding older residents, providing high-quality care and support on site, improving health and wellbeing, and saving billions for the NHS and social care system, a meagre 0.6% of over-65s currently have the opportunity to live in housing-with-care.

ARCO’s Vision 2030 is for 250,000 people to live in housing-with-care within ten years which, it says, would bring savings of £5.6 billion for the health and social care systems, and generate turnover of over £70 billion.

ARCO chair and chief executive of Audley Villages Nick Sanderson said the formation of the Advisory Council was further proof that the housing-with-care sector was maturing.

“When housing-with-care got going more than 20 years ago, good advice was hard to come by as things were still so new,” said Mr Sanderson.

“Today, we’re incredibly fortunate to be working with colleagues who believe in the potential of the retirement community model and have developed deep sector knowledge: we are fortunate to have them on the ARCO Advisory Council, and the ARCO Board looks forward to a collaborative working relationship in the future.”

Michael Voges

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