Prime Minister’s policy chief says elderly should sell homes for care

Prime Minister Theresa May’s director of policy John Godfrey has said that people with valuable homes facing high social care costs should downsize or re-mortgage to cover their bills.

Mr Godfrey said the expected social care crisis over the next 10 years would be solved by people selling their homes or releasing some of their equity, the Observer reported yesterday.

The policy chief told an independent commission last year: “On a 10-year view … equity release is going to be hugely important, because if you look at the amount of housing equity across the UK that is owned by people of post-retirement age, that is really where an awful lot of the money sits at the moment.”

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One in 10 people end up paying more than £100,000 in care costs in old age, according to research. Equity release involves borrowing against the value of a home or selling all or part of it for a lump sum or a monthly income.

Mr Godfrey added: “As far as downshifting is concerned, you move into another area of policy altogether, which is the need to build more housing to give people a choice of the right sort of home.”

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