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Monday, September 17, 2012

The elderly should leave their (big) houses...

... claims Freya Van Den Bossche, of the Flemish government. According to a study made for her department, by 2050 there will be more and more Flemings, and thus there will be a shortage of houses and flats.
Her idea would be that elderly people would move to a service flat or home for the elderly, and so make their homes available for young couples with children.
She did not know her ideas would bring such a big commotion. Already the following day, after she had phrased her vision in the biggest newspaper of Belgium, hundreds and thousands of elderly people reacted.
Most of them don't want to leave their home. They have worked hard to be able to pay for it, and now they want to remain there as long as they are able. It is their home, they have fond memories and most of them have raised their family in it.
For myself, I plan on selling my (big) house when I'm pensioned. I realize it grows harder and harder to maintain such a place as you are not getting younger, and we do nearly everything ourselves. We are lucky to have another place, a flat, at the seaside.
Living there will have many advantages. The place is small, so easy to clean and maintain, and it being in a big apartment building, we are not responsible for big repairs (to the roof, for instance). That is taken care of by the community of owners, by the appointed syndicus (a person responsible to the upkeep of the block of flats).
We have a lift going to our floor, and when we come out of the building, we are on the promenade, where no vehicles are allowed. The shops are at 5 minutes.
So that is our future scenario. My house will be on the market, and I just hope that a young couple will be able to pay for it!

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