Assessment of equity release pilot schemes: summary

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Josephn Rowntree Foundation
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Date of publication
1 January 2012
Older Adults, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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A substantial number of older home-owners are income-poor but asset rich. Many cannot afford to pay for additional help at home, even though this could improve their quality of life considerably. However, the rules on entitlement to means-tested benefits, and the constraints on the terms of equity release loans, mean that such drawings were not a realistic option for older home-owners with low incomes before the pilot schemes. Three local authorities – the London Borough of Islington, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and Maidstone Borough Council – piloted the 'signposting' of an equity release product which was designed to provide small amounts without any adverse impact on benefits. The pilots ran from January 2010 to June 2011.