A significant part of my work is designing and planning residential accommodation that will meet the needs of both the tenants and the investors.
Recently, I’ve been struck by the weaknesses of our current accommodation models for our senior citizens.
We are living longer, with less money and primarily living in urban areas. The trend toward building bigger houses, with huge lawns to mow, interiors to clean and mortgages to pay seems profoundly incompatible with our growing senior ranks.
Not only do larger homes make less sense in terms of convenience and economics, their isolating effects may even have a harmful impact on senior health.
The current alternative to living alone in a large house is to move to a retirement village or home. But not everyone wants that either. They can also be isolating.
What about another option?
I’ve been thinking about building large houses, near town centres on established streets and close to amenities, not stuck out on the edge of town like most retirement villages.
These large houses would have spacious bedrooms each with their own en-suites and tea and coffee making facilities and private patio areas, providing a place to enjoy quiet time and privacy – something we all want at times.
However, we also want and need to be part of a community and have regular social interaction. In these houses people would come together in the communal kitchen, dining and living areas where they would eat and spend time with one another, providing companionship and support.
This model would be far more cost-effective than living alone in a single home or in a retirement village. It would also meet the dynamic social needs of the citizens.
So, please help me out here.
Would you, or someone you know be interested in living in this type of co-housing?
Please provide your comments and feedback. We need a robust discussion around housing alternatives, as the current model is not working for many people.
John Kenel, Assured