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| New Community for Older People

New community for older people planned for Thornbury.

THE SUPPORT of people throughout Camphill is being sought for the development of a new community for older people at Camphill Communities Thornbury.

Following a meeting in the Stroud area in June, a carrying group has been formed to move plans forward and to seek the funding needed to make the venture possible. The intention is to create an older people’s residential community at Thornbury on the Sheiling School campus. It will cater for older co-workers, older Camphill community members with learning disabilities and people from the immediate locality.

The community could consist of around 35 two- and three-bedroomed flats built around a care centre, restaurant and garden. The intention is that it will be an ‘extracare’ community which means that people live in their own homes and receive the level of care they need as they grow older without having to leave their home, the community or their friends.

Shared Ownership

The people living in this new community will be able to buy their home, rent it or part buy/part rent in a shared ownership scheme. It is expected that most of the flats will be in shared ownership. The intention is that the flats will be of high quality with a kitchen area, living room and bathroom, and most will have verandas.

Current estimates put the cost of a shared ownership flat at about £97,000 for a 60% share of a 125-year lease. Mortgage interest for retired co-workers over 75 with little income and for people with learning disabilities would be paid by the government with no capital repayment until the flat is sold.  The rent for the remaining 40% of the house would be covered by housing benefit for those eligible.

So long-term co-workers and those with disabilities without assets of their own will be able to buy and live in their own flats. Those with some money of their own will also be able to buy the flats.

Taken up

“In Thornbury, we are making the space available for the new community but we need the project to be taken up by Camphill as a whole if it is to succeed,” says Tom Burns of Camphill Communities Thornbury. “We recently had a meeting with the trustees of the Wayfarer Trust, set up by Peter Berger who has longstanding ties with Camphill, to discuss funding and he is very strongly behind the venture. Jeannie Carlson from Simeon Care in Aberdeen is also helping with input.  Our consultant, Andrew Shadrake from Climate Positive, has been doing a lot of research to see how financially feasible the project is.”

It will take time to design the new community, obtain funding and build it, but if all goes smoothly the first community members could be moving into their new homes in 2-3 years time. The intention is that the flats will be designed to suit the people who will live in them and at a price they can afford.

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