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Two generation homes

“Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m 64?”

We are all getting older. The population of Europe is slowly greying. The United Kingdom has debated raising the retirement age to 67 to fill the coffers of the state to pay for the care of its aging population – Jersey is no exception. The average age of Islanders is rising. This is having a number of effects on our society as a whole and not least the property market.

Sheltered housing is in demand as are “two generation homes”. Two generation homes are just what the label says they are – homes which are connected and which can hold two generations of the same family. Such homes can have a number of advantages, not least:

It may be easier and cheaper to care for an elderly relative if they live in the same home. Psychologically, it may be easier to accept living with your family rather than moving to tailored accommodation for the elderly.

There would be resident “child carers”. As the workplace becomes more and more demanding, having the cushion of family who will care for your children is invaluable.

If parents and children pool their money, the dream home for both parties may be in reach.

Are there many “two generation” homes in Jersey? The answer is broadly “no”. This is for a variety of reasons but not least as a result of planning policies. Properties which usually lend themselves to being extended to add an extra unit of living accommodation are in the country areas where permission would not be granted. Planners have had sound reasons for discouraging such development as it would increase the population density in the country parishes and put the Island’s features at risk. Nevertheless, as the age of our population rises, flexibility must develop in the hard rules.

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