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Care Homes

Volume 455: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if his Department will make an estimate of the number of homes sold in 2005-06 to fund care home residency. (112713)

I have been asked to reply.

Information about the sale of property to pay for residential care is not collected centrally. Local authorities also may not know if this has happened, for example where a person sells a property and arranges their care privately without involving social services. It is not, therefore, possible to estimate the number of homes that may have been sold for this purpose.

However, the Government have taken steps to help people avoid having to sell their homes during their lifetime to pay for residential care. Since October 2001 councils have been able to enter into a deferred payments agreement. The aim is to allow people with property, but without income and other assets sufficient to meet their assessed financial contribution to the cost of residential care, to have a legal charge placed on their property to meet any shortfall. This gives people more options for meeting care home fees.