Much has been written and said about the lack of well-designed and appropriate housing for retirees. The baby boomers of the 40’s and 50’s have large amounts of equity tied up in their homes, with many wishing to downsize and release money for their retirement, children and grandchildren. If this could happen, the social benefits for retirees, health and social services and the economy would be great.
The statistics are eye watering; there is more equity tied up than the GDP of Mexico, with figures suggesting the over 65’s are sitting on an estimated £920bn worth of property wealth. If the government could encourage the release of a good proportion of that money, think what it could do.
The best advantage to society would be the freeing up of family housing in existing areas with the schools and healthcare infrastructure already in place. Retirement housing can be built to higher densities and requires much less car parking. Retirement housing is best placed in central locations and is a useful energiser of town centres and can conveniently sit above other uses, such as retail, public and leisure.
Usefully, retirement housing can be designated as an employment use. Some retirement villages employ up to 30 people, whereas a distribution centre with robots and machines might employ just five or six people.
We recently entered a design competition for retirement housing of the future and put forward this pen picture as our potential client:
“I have passed the age of 55 and although my children are independent we value their visits and live in the family home. I am partially retired and often work from home and drive a small coupé. I holiday abroad twice a year, staying in 4* hotels or on luxury cruise ships. I expect to eat in a reasonable restaurant at least once a week and like to meet friends and colleagues frequently. I am very happy with my lifestyle, but I would like to downsize our accommodation and relinquish some of life’s more tedious responsibilities. I expect, from my retirement, increased freedom and flexibility but I also want to base myself somewhere my wife and I can maintain a healthy lifestyle and be discreetly cared for as frailties develop in coming years.”
calfordseaden has a long track record in the design and procurement of retirement housing and are keen to raise the quality and widen the offering of retirement housing across all sectors. We have joined the Associated Retirement Community Operators
(ARCO) as affiliate members and are actively helping to further the thinking around design and tenure to this end.
In association with ARCO, we are organising a breakfast meeting aimed at registered providers in the sector later in the year. If you’d be interested in hearing more about our work or upcoming seminar, please contact John Spence:
T: 01689 888 222