New homes for active elderly open doors for young families

Catalyst housing chief: to meet housing crisis, “we don’t just need to build more homes, we also need to build smarter”

A new development for older people opens in Ealing today which aims to help free up 200 bed spaces for young families across the borough.

Apsley House, in the centre of Ealing, provides housing for active older people – defined as those aged 55 and over. In allocating these apartments, the new residents have been specifically selected as previous “under-occupiers” of large, family-sized council properties. Those large properties will now be allocated to families living in overcrowded or unsuitable properties.

Built by residential developer St George and working in partnership with Catalyst Housing Limited, over half of these new homes have already been allocated to tenants. This means over 100 bedspaces have been freed up elsewhere in the borough.

The apartments are right in the heart of the town so residents will be close to transport links, local shops and amenities. They are also built to be safer as the local crime prevention team played an important part in the design and layout of the building. This has helped it achieve the police’s “Secured by Design” building security standard. This standard can significantly reduce the risk of crime.

Residents received help with the moving process including with utilities and packing, as well as a £1,000 incentive for each bedroom freed up.

Today’s (18 October) launch will be attended by residents, local MPs and councillors. The Mayor of Ealing will be on hand to unveil a special plaque marking the opening of the building.

New resident, Mr Stephen Kearney, 76 , who has given up a five bedroom property in Acton to move into Apsley House said:

“It was a real wrench to leave my old home as all my family grew up there. It’ll take a bit of getting used to but once I’ve got settled in, I’m looking forward to it.

“It’s convenient for me to live here as all the shops, bus routes and tubes I need are nearby and all my neighbours are my age.”

Catalyst Housing chief executive Rod Cahill said:

“We already know we face a huge shortfall of housing and that over half of future household growth will be of those aged over 65.

“To meet the challenge, we don’t just need to build more homes, we also need to build smarter. Offering older people smaller properties that suit their needs so we can free up larger family-sized properties is a really innovative way of helping meet the challenge we face.”

St George West London managing director Ian Dobie added:

“We are delighted to have pioneered this initiative with Ealing and Catalyst. St George has delivered a range of homes and affordable homes across our developments and are always looking to innovate. This is a great solution to a huge problem. Ealing have been able to free up under-occupied family homes and the residents benefit from a safe, secure town centre apartment.”