Assisted living providers in the UK are increasingly filling a critical gap in the care system, driven by demographic shifts and evolving social norms. This sector’s growth is capturing the attention of high-net-worth investors for several reasons.
The UK market for homecare and supported living has been valued at £11.5 billion as of 2021/22, with approximately 670,000 people receiving these services, a significant component of the larger non-residential care market.
These services are becoming more important as an intermediate step in the ‘ladder of care’, especially as budget pressures on councils’ social care budgets lead to a shift from care home care to community-based alternatives.
In the UK, adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs face unique housing challenges, and the statistics reflect these complexities.
Public services like the NHS and local authority care spaces are at an all-time stretch, in terms of care spaces, staff and budgets and this means they often fall short when trying to meet the needs of residents who need some degree of support but not full-time care.
Added to that, many public facilities target very specific care needs, meaning that vulnerable adults in need of some degree of support will often need to move homes as their needs change or funding changes – or remain in places that are not fully compatible with their needs. It’s unstable, disruptive and makes independent living a challenge for people who already face challenges just to live day to day – and prevents these adults from reaching their full potential which could even include work or volunteering when assisted correctly.
In terms of the need for social care, over 1 million adults in England accessed long-term or short-term social care support in 2019/20. Specifically, for 155,400 of these adults, a learning disability was the primary reason for requiring support.
This includes approximately 153,145 individuals accessing long-term support and around 2,255 completing short-term support aimed at maximizing independence. In the financial context, over £6 billion was spent on short-term and long-term support for adults with a learning disability in 2019/20, with 12% of this spending being in the form of direct payments.
These statistics highlight the significant need for specialized support and services for adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs in the UK, underscoring the importance of tailored care and intervention strategies for this vulnerable population.
‘Vulnerable adults’ is a wide client group with a wide range of support needs. Clients may have learning difficulties, a healthcare challenge such as epilepsy, a physical disability or even mental health challenges. It is widely acknowledged that these clients benefit from a secure, stable environment that encourages independent living whilst getting the support they need, with care and support adapting as their needs change. Moving from pillar to post is not ideal, and often due to a shortage of spaces, public services do not allow them to live near family and friends.
While all of this sounds like bad news, the good news is that private developers are changing the playing field and creating spaces that meet their needs exactly – not for a year or two, but for life.
Specialist real estate developer Urban Village Group is an above average example of a developer crafting homes that fit the bill, meeting and adapting to care needs and helping people reach their potential through their accommodation life cycle model and their unique people focused approach to design.
The ethical approach starts at the construction stage, providing local jobs and sourcing local materials where possible, being at the heart of the community from construction to completion.
Once completed, local vulnerable residents are housed at the heart of the community and offered a high standard of consistent lifelong care, adapted to their specific needs. They don’t target one specific client group with a one-size fits all package, they ask what each client needs and provide it.
Additionally, the developer puts the use of sustainable energy and technology at the heart of their developments, meeting ESG concerns.
Frankly, what’s not to love? It’s this type of provider that is particularly attractive to investors, because everyone wins.
Investors love the assisted living sector due to its growth potential – and it’s also a great investment for those needing to meet ESG criteria. It’s a win/win for everyone, helping meet the evolving needs of vulnerable people while improving their standard of living – and making a healthy return. If it sounds positive, that’s because it is!
The assisted living sector offers significant opportunities for high-net-worth investors in the UK, solving a massive social care challenge, changing lives for the better while delivering a good return for shareholders – making it a compelling and ethical area for investment.
To learn more about investment opportunities with Urban Village Group, visit here.