A recent Partnership between Anchor Hanover and McCarthy & Stone seeks to deliver retirement solutions that are affordable for all. As these are currently two of the leading retirement providers in the UK this is certainly welcome news. The partnership is in line with the Governments’ objectives of increasing the housing supply and improving access to care and support for the elderly.
Commenting on this new partnership, Housing Minister, Right Honorable Christopher Pincher MP said:
“Around one-third of children born in the United Kingdom today can expect to celebrate their hundredth birthday and housing will have an important role to play in ensuring healthy and independent living as our society ages. I look forward to seeing this partnership result in more high-quality, affordable retirement properties that are not just homes, but strong communities too.”
Christopher Pincher’s comment about the community aspect is certainly significant and it is exciting that this has been registered in Parliament. Enabling housing to be rooted within neighbourhoods will aid in building strong communities. Having a solid support network available within the community helps all ages, especially as we grow older, and it is a much wider issue than simply providing specialist housing for the retired. Facilitating and encouraging contact between a range of different people of all ages provides a host of benefits to the health and wellbeing of an individual. This has been proven with the concept of intergenerational communities.
Affordability is of paramount importance to ensure that everyone has access to appropriate housing for their age and needs. Having well-designed, functional spaces appropriate for their intended use that are available for the majority of people is key. This will also enable a diverse mix of people to live in the same community and benefit from its facilities, therefore enabling an inclusive environment.
Great design does not necessarily need to be at the high end of the spectrum; design can influence affordability without limiting the facilities available. The quality of the space does not necessarily require the most up to date technology and high end furnishings, yet, by providing ample natural daylight, well ventilated spaces, and an appropriately located building with connections to nature and the surrounding community, housing can be successful.
As the report ‘The Affordability of Retirement Housing’ by APPG states, up to 50% of older people can be priced out of retirement housing in some areas. The partnership between Anchor Hanover and McCarthy & Stone will hopefully help to address this by providing suitable accommodation for the elderly. It will certainly be interesting to see what they can achieve in the coming years.