Older Jersey homeowners encouraged to downsize to free up bigger family homes

The report found that a third of older homeowners have spare bedrooms. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Older homeowners in Jersey are being encouraged to consider moving to a smaller property, in order to free up housing for families.

The government's Housing Policy Report has found that senior citizens would be willing to make the change if there was more sheltered housing provision.

The report found that a third of older homeowners have spare bedrooms.

Estate agents say demand for larger homes is huge, but often they remain occupied by people whose children have long since left home and who struggle to cope with the upkeep of larger properties and gardens.

Constables in each parish have been gathering feedback from parishioners and identifying potential sites to increase community housing.

The biggest challenge is the price of properties for young people to get on the property ladder. So it's about trying to find more affordable schemes for both older and younger people.

Constable Andy Jehan, St John in Jersey

The island's Housing Minister says the report is not trying to "force" people to leave their family homes.

People should stay in their family home if they want to, and if they've been there their whole life. There should be no pressure to move on and older people are generally more resistant to change.

Russell Labey, Jersey's Housing Minister

The government says it is important to make the most of the existing housing stock, but it is just one way of tackling the issue.

It says it is also key to provide more affordable housing and to ensure developers and the government work more closely to make the best use of land.

Yesterday (19 April), it was announced more than 4,000 new homes could be built in Jersey by 2025, including 1,500 so-called affordable homes.