I've recently shared that I am going to moving, and one of my Spark friends asked me to explain the older persons living process.
I have been living in private rented accommodation most of my adult life. I currently live in a sweet late 18th century miner's cottage in a beautiful small seaside town. I have lived here for 9.5yrs and love it! I often just forget that I am renting.
However, I am on a low income, have two years until I retire, and know that I will not be able to afford to stay here.
So I have been hoping for social housing, which is in short supply and high demand. In the UK we have to register on something called Homechoice - and each week they publish a list of available properties (if any!) and we can put in a bid for one each week. If you fail to bid you will get taken off the register, also if you reject more than three offers of accommodation.
There are criteria for eligibility - with things like vulnerability, mobility, health, homelessness, at the top of the list. Because I am safely housed, working, well, no dependents, the only category I fall into is over-60. And there are housing schemes which are only for older people. Some of them are over-60, some are over-55. I am sure they will revise these ages before long as we are going to be working until 70 before we can retire.
I have been offered a flat in an 'older persons' housing scheme. This means that, I am stepping into a place that feels a bit like 'God's waiting room' - as everyone else around me there will be older, and people leave feet-first!!!
There are emergency call buttons in every room, handles and aids in the bathroom, a space for parking a mobility scooter too. There is a communal lounge where people meet for coffee and can chat and watch tv, play board games etc
So my age has given me access to this flat where I will not have to worry about my landlord wanting to sell, and get repairs done by the housing association, and social support if I need it.
The flat is actually lovely. I am very lucky! I'll be fine. I will take more photos next time I am there. Moving will be my June theme!
I can see the sea! What a blessing!
The flat is at the far end of this street
From this window I can see the sea (I didn't take the right photo, but will next time)
The front door looks out onto a kind of courtyard area, so I can still have my morning coffee on the doorstep. There are still seagulls to listen to.
I can plant a new lavender bush. And I could start a residents' walking group!