Population ageing presents significant challenges for many countries, one of which is the provision of adequate housing. Developing understanding of the needs and preferences of ageing societies will be crucial in order to assist in the provision of suitable housing and communities that are sustainable in the long term. While a preference to ‘age in place’ is clear in the literature, comparatively less academic research is available on older people’s preferences for more specific housing and environment attributes. The aim of this study is to identify the main housing and environment characteristics that are linked to the health and wellbeing of the elderly and determine the preferences for such characteristics via a survey with UK residents aged 55+. The results indicate a strong preference for independent living and an increasing desire for bungalows in later life. Housing conditions, energy efficiency, thermal comfort, and home adaptions to facilitate ageing in place are particularly important housing characteristics to older people. The location and environment are also key drivers of housing preferences; a safe neighbourhood, accessibility to amenities, public transport, and a clean and walkable environment are particularly important. Preferences varied with age, but gender has a less significant impact on the preferences expressed. The findings of this study will be valuable for stakeholders engaged in housing policy and provision for older people.
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