Retirement living group ECH has launched a five-year plan amid a shortage of units that’s causing providers to rethink the way they support older Australians.

Retirement living and home care service provider ECH has developed a new five-year plan amid a shortage of accommodation that’s causing the industry to rethink the way it supports older Australians.

ECH Chief Executive Claire Scapinello has led development of the strategy since taking over from David Panter a little over a year ago.

She said it was the right time to set a new long-term plan for the 60-year old organisation, which is one of the state’s largest providers of retirement living with close to 2000 properties across 109 villages.

“I think with the changing environment, the outcomes of the Royal Commission reforms, and also around the shift in housing expectations – I think this is probably the perfect opportunity and time to reset that strategy,” she said.

“It was about asking as many questions as possible of not just our team, but also our clients and residents, about what was important to them – what did they want into the future, and also where were areas as an organisation that we could improve?”

With occupancy levels in Adelaide at 88 per cent, and just 181 retirement units in the state’s three-year supply pipeline, Retirement Living Council executive director Daniel Gannon warned of the looming supply crunch.

“The reality is we have a market that’s pretty much full, which actually provides an affordable housing option when few other affordable options remain, and yet barriers to building more are emerging,” he said.

“If governments make it harder for operators to build and operate retirement communities, the supply clamp will tighten even further.”

Posted: July 26, 2023