Legal & General has announced the acquisition of its first later living development in the capital, in Uxbridge, within the borough of Hillingdon. The site will be developed and operated by Guild Living, Legal & General’s specialist urban later living business.
Guild Living will develop the Uxbridge town centre site to create new later living apartments alongside inter-generational facilities that will be open to the whole community. The development will also offer additional tailored care suites that aim to support local NHS services by helping people who leave hospital to staircase back to independent living.
Guild Living has this week launched a consultation programme with local residents, including a webinar programme about their plans. Residents are invited to join the Guild team on:
- Wednesday 24 June, 6-7pm – Introducing Guild Living
- Thursday 25 June, 6-7pm – A new approach to caring for older people
- Wednesday 1 July, 6-7pm – Q&A session with the community
More information about their plans at Uxbridge and the consultation programme are available at www.guildliving.com/uxbridge.
According to the 2011 Census, a third of the Hillingdon’s population – more than 78,000 people – are aged 50 or over. Despite being considered a ‘young’ city, London as a whole contains 1.1m over-65s, according to Age UK. This figure is projected to increase by 86% in the next 30 years, underlining the pressing need for more purpose-built housing for older people.
In order to address the UK’s chronic undersupply of age specific accommodation, Legal & General has established two specialist businesses, Inspired Villages and Guild Living, to meet the changing needs of older generations. The combined GDV of these businesses exceeds £2.8bn.
Just 2.5% of the UK’s 29m dwellings are defined as “retirement housing”, according to research published last week by the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI).The CSFI research found that just 7,000 new homes built each year are designed for older people. This is insufficient to serve the 180,000 households aged 65-or-over that will be created each year over the next decade.
Increasing the number of purpose built homes for older people would provide greater choice for those who want to downsize. Retirement villages have also been shown to offer significant health benefits to residents, including a 50 percent decrease in GP visits and an 80 percent decrease in hospital stays.
Guild Living offers a new model of housing for those in later life, focused on delivering safe and secure communities in urban centres that offer a flexible provision of care to meet individual needs. This will enable residents to maintain independence, access local services and remain connected to their friends and family.
Community facilities, such as cafes and children’s nurseries, will be central to each scheme, bringing different generations together and ensuring each project becomes a local hub rather than a gated community.
Guild Living is partnering with leading academics to design its tailored care programmes. Its first research partnership has been launched with the University of Bath, where research will be led by Professor Malcolm Johnson, one of the team of academics featured in Channel 4’s BAFTA-winning televised experiment Old People’s Home for 4-Year-Olds.
The company’s founders claim there are huge societal and economic benefits from reinstating older people back into the hearts of communities. The grey pound is worth an estimated £320bn, according to Saga, highlighting the untapped potential of older consumers.
Eugene Marchese, co-founder and director at Guild Living, said: “There is a clear and growing need for age-appropriate housing both in London and across the UK. Our ambition is to create communities that are safe and secure so local people can live and maintain their local links while protecting their independence. We want to de-stigmatise this market by providing a different kind of product that uses academic research to tailor its wellbeing and care offering. Uxbridge is a thriving town and an amazing local community, and we are excited to work with the Council and the community to bring forward proposals that add to the local area.”
Phil Bayliss, CEO of Later Living at Legal & General, said: “Legal & General’s long-term investment is supporting Guild Living in revolutionising later living in an urban setting. It has never been more important to tackle social isolation and deliver housing where people really want to live, while also finding new ways to revitalise our high streets. Having acquired four sites in less than a year, the growth trajectory of the Guild Living business is phenomenal. This latest scheme in London is a perfect example. London is often seen as a young city, but actually has the fastest growing over-50s population. We have to be prepared to meet these changing dynamics.”