Older people in houses that are too big for them..

A report out by a charity today suggests that old people should move into smaller houses to free up the larger houses for young families.

The Intergenerational Foundation calls for tax breaks to encourage downsizing and help free up some of the estimated 25 million unused bedrooms in England.

BBC article

The report, entitled Hoarding of Housing, said that 37% of homes in England – about eight million – were under-occupied – meaning they had at least two unused bedrooms. This is up from 20% four decades ago.

I know several houses locally that are under occupied with 2 spare bedrooms. Should these people be encouraged to downsize? Is it easy to get rid of a lifetimes worth of clutter to actaully be able to fit into a smaller house?
Would the answer be for more people to have lodgers? Would that solve the crisis? After all the government has changed the housing benefit rules so that undr 35s can only have a shared room allowance now – something that used to be reserved for under 25s.
Would people be healthier with more company? There have been some reports that loneliness can lead to mental decline.
With heating bills constantly on the up, having another person in to share the bills would also help. Perhaps this would be one way of resolving both a housing shortage?
With the average age of first time buyers reaching 40 you can almost imagine that there are many families where people are still living at home rather than venturing out in to the world of lodgings.
I’m not sure the report is helpful to anyone. Yes there are a lot of empty rooms in the Uk that could be better used, but who has the right to force anyone to downsize or take on a lodger?

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