Following three years of research and development, ENGIE has announced the launch of an over 55s lifestyle product, which will serve to address the older person’s housing and care crisis across the UK
ENGIE describes how there are currently two million substandard homes in the UK which are occupied by older people. Avoidable incidents in the home cost the NHS an estimated £624m per annum. ENGIE explains how the majority of existing homes are not designed for old age, feeding into the wider housing and social care issues the country is in the midst of.
There are just 7,000 annual completions of purpose-built new homes for the elderly market, but research identifies that to keep pace with current demand, there would need to be 60,000 new homes delivered for the over 55s each year alone.
This distinct gap in the housing marketplace is ‘unsettling’ according to ENGIE, who says the industry is failing a core proportion of society by focusing too heavily on first-time buyers, especially when the population of over 65s is set to increase 33% by 2020.
Paula Broadbent, Retirement Solutions director for ENGIE explains the company’s ambition was to respond to the voice of older people who are looking to plan for old age or move out of the family home, as it’s too large and expensive to run; which will subsequently release family homes into the second-hand market.
Broadbent said: “We know from our consumer research that there is an appetite for right-sizing instead of downsizing. Consumers want flexible, care ready homes and we are incredibly proud to introduce LIFEstyle and to be bringing an innovative new product to the market. For years we have been collecting research, intelligence and investment to support us to deliver the right product and services, which will deliver a long-lasting and positive impact for the whole country and we are committed to continually engaging with consumers to build on the products and services we provide.”
ENGIE has already launched its first project in Walton in Wakefield, which has gained support from the local authority thanks to the investment ENGIE is making in this area. ENGIE has also secured four further sites across North Yorkshire, Nottingham and Derbyshire, with many more in negotiation across the UK.
The LIFEstyle product developments will provide an environment, which is focused on providing choice, control and peace of mind through a combination of lifelong, purpose-built, easily adaptable and energy efficient homes. The developments also have optional on-site support services and are built in carefully selected locations to maximise the lifestyle available for those planning to enjoy and get the most out of retirement.
The homes are intelligently designed to provide level access, high-quality functional space and are digitally enabled to provide peace of mind for the future.