NEWS RELEASE PR 23291 24 October 2019
Hertfordshire's over-55s to enjoy new community-centric housing following 33million investment
Councillors have agreed to approve capital investment of 33million into developing around 750 new homes that will provide flexible care services and community spaces for the over-55s across the county.
The growth in housing required in the county over the next 12 years will need to support our ageing population as well as meet the aspirational needs of families and professionals living in Hertfordshire. According to population projections (figures from the Office for National Statistics), by 2030 there will be approximately 70,000 additional older people in the county than today. Of these, some 32,300 will be over 75. The county has also seen a 15 per cent increase over the last two decades of those aged between 65 and 74 living alone.
These statistics show that the county council, in partnership with the district councils and other stakeholders, has a responsibility to ensure that our growing and ageing population has the correct housing and infrastructure to help live independent and fulfilling lives for as long as possible.
To address this population growth, an estimated 750 new homes will be built by 2022 in addition to the 1,023 similar extra-care housing homes already available through private developers in the county. The brand new developments, funded by the county council, 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 councils ambitious plan will be to work with a small number of development partners, to build around 10 mixed developments that meet Hertfordshire's design standards. For example, 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 cafes 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.
Not only will these plans improve quality of life for an increasing population of older people within the county, but it is also anticipated that money usually spent on escalating care packages will be saved, in turn reducing the financial impact of our ageing population on the NHS and the local authority.
Richard Roberts, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health at Hertfordshire County Council, 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 councillors 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."
- For interviews with Cllr Richard Roberts or high res images of how these developments might look, please call the press office on 01992 556802.