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Local council pledges to give financial support for assisted housing

A local English council is setting aside funds to invest in better homes for their elderly population. The Stroud District Council in Gloucestershire voted to spend money on improving and modernising elderly housing in the district.

 

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Local council pledges to give financial support for assisted housing

A local English council is setting aside funds to invest in better homes for their elderly population. The Stroud District Council in Gloucestershire voted to spend money on improving and modernising elderly housing in the district.

 

At a meeting of Stroud District Council’s housing committee last week, councillors voted to set aside £4.6 million to be invested in better homes. The work is set take place over the next two to three years.

“The plans will ensure that all areas of the sheltered housing schemes are easily accessible with lifts and ramps installed where needed,” said Mattie Ross, chairman of SDC’s housing committee, in an interview with local media. “Unpopular bedsits will be phased out and there will be more parking, along with storage and charging facilities for mobility scooters.

“Communal areas will be designed to be more inviting and gardens more easily accessible for those who are less mobile. Homes will also be made more energy efficient. This is good news for the future provision of homes for people aged 55 years old and over.”

Currently in Stroud’s district, there are nearly 800 homes set aside for people over 65 or those considered vulnerable. They are divided amongst 29 different housing schemes. After a recent assessment, the council determined 20 per cent of them needed to be upgraded or renovated for use.

Cllr Ross added: “Obviously implementing the changes will cause quite a bit of inconvenience to some of our current tenants.

“Some may even need to be rehoused, but we will be in close contact with them to minimise any disruption. Ultimately they will end up with better homes and hopefully the inconvenience will be worth it.”

Stroud’s efforts to build better “communities” for the elderly is a growing trend in the country. A recent report has highlighted the benefits of community-style living to help combat isolation and loneliness in old age. A study by the International Longevity Centre (ILC) has suggested that the development of specially focused retirement communities may be more beneficial than traditional group homes.

Many of these communities provide the infrastructure of mobility enhancements like extra storage for equipment, installation of affordable stairlifts, and other amenities. The research has shown communal environments have the potential to reduce social isolation.

Image Credit: shrinkin'violet (flickr.com)

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