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ARCO Endorses the Government’s Leasehold Reform

The Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) has welcomed the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committees exemption on leasehold retirement housing.

ARCO is the trade association for operators of housing-with-care developments for older people.

Founded in 2012, ARCO now comprises of 27 private and not-for-profit operators of retirement communities and represents approximately 50% of the retirement community sector.

Michael Voges, ARCO Executive Director, said: “As the main body representing both the private and not-for-profit Retirement Community sector in the UK, we gave evidence to the select committee and explained how an outright ban on leases would mean our members would not be able to build and operate houses at future developments.

“It is great to see the inequities of the system being addressed. We’re very happy to see the committee has recognised differences in leaseholds among different sectors, and we’re happy to work with the Government to put strict ‎criteria in place to ensure exemptions are not abused. We’re also ready to help develop an alternative form of tenure suitable for these complex integrated housing, care, and service offers which may replace leasehold entirely.”

ARCO maintain that any exemption can only be a short-term method while the sector and policymakers develop a long term solution.

ARCO warn that any exemption would need to be clearly defined to avoid exploitation by speculative developers, and is calling for urgent clarification on what would qualify for a retirement housing exemption.

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