Hertfordshire County Council has pledged to build 750 homes for over 55s to help it meet the needs of its ageing population.
The council’s cabinet has approved plans to invest £33m in ‘community-centric housing’ for older people, including 750 new homes to be built by 2022.
According to the council, the new housing will be built to high specifications, with residents able to enjoy independence in their own self-contained apartment, offering the over-55s the option to stay within their communities, while having access to varying levels of support either on-site or nearby.
The first step in the county council’s plan will be to work with a small number of developers, to build around 10 mixed developments that will meet Hertfordshire’s design standards.
For example, the council says the housing must be spacious enough to support the use of wheelchairs and other care equipment and the developers will be required to include community spaces in their plans such as cafés and voluntary-sector club areas.
There will also be opportunities for residents to gain employment within the developments or for residents to maintain garden areas and vegetable patches.
The announcement comes after the Resolution Foundation published a report, which warned one in four Brits will be over 65 years old by 2041.
According to official projections, by 2030 there will be approximately 70,000 additional older people in Hertfordshire than today.
Of these, some 32,300 will be over 75. The county has also seen a 15% increase over the last two decades of those aged between 65 and 74 living alone.
Hertfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for adult care and health, Cllr Richard Roberts, said: ‘We know that we need to build at least 100,000 new homes by 2031 in Hertfordshire and, as part of these plans, we need to ensure that our vulnerable and elderly residents are able to live in their own homes independently, with access to the right care as their needs change.
‘The approval of this new scheme by cabinet today is a step in the right direction to achieving this. I look forward to seeing how the proposals develop. We already do so much in the county to support those with complex care needs and this project is just another example of how we are supporting our residents.’
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