Sunday, November 18, 2007

Golden Times Realty cos look at senior citizens’ housing interests

A lack of adequate safety and security measures, lonely living and western influence is slowly creating a new category of residential projects in the country.
Real estate developers are now actively looking at addressing the needs of senior citizens by building projects which cater to their needs and interests.
Developers such as Ansal API, Uppal Group, Pune-based Paranjape Schemes and Chennai-based Clasic Group have existing and upcoming residential communities that can be ideal for those desiring an independent living post retirement.
The concept of retired, independent living is still relatively new in India as compared to abroad. But, there is a growing demand for such projects now and it is not difficult to understand why.
“The number of elderly people have increased exponentially over the years and with the ever-increasing nuclearisation in Indian families, senior citizens are meant to care for themselves in the advance age. Moreover, if their children are staying abroad or have got married and moved out, it makes sense for them to live in a safer environment,” feels Atul Mehrotra, president, marketing of Uppal Housing which is soon to come up with its housing projects for senior citizens.
There are other developers with operational units which are getting a good response. Pune-based developer Paranjape Schemes, has been one of the early starters in specialised housing for senior citizens. Their project, Athashri, has been designed especially keeping the elderly in mind.
Sensitively designed for their use, it includes facilities such as non-skid flooring, doctors and nurses on call, special lifts etc. Down South, Clasic Group in Chennai also has an exclusive retirement community, ‘Clasic Kudumbam,’ which include a number of common facilities as well as amenities in each room for the benefit of residents.
Real estate major Ansal API’s ‘Utsav Homes,’ in Sushant Golf City, Lucknow has earmarked 14 acres of land for a senior citizen colony. Says Kunal Banerji, president, marketing, Ansal API, “We have tied up with Lucknow-based Ashiana group for senior citizen areas that include more amenities and facilities for them.
The response has been good and that is not suprising as they need to have their own home in a secure atmosphere among like minded people, with plenty of green landscape and vibrant activity centres.” However not all feel that staying in such homes is an option which is conducive enough in India yet. “
The scenario here is very different from the one internationally. Individual apartments or housing options specifically built for senior citizens can be more prone to unwanted activities like thefts, etc. Hence, the stress has to be more on safety and other add-on measures in existing plots rather than separate structures altogether,” reveals Nitish Kumar, president, marketing, TDI.
The concept may still be a novel one in India yet, but the increase in residential projects coming up for senior citizens indicates that the demand for them is surely on the rise.


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