'More homes need to be built' as Jersey population ages

Image caption,
New sites may have to be found in Jersey to build homes designed for older people

More homes may be built in Jersey for its growing number of pensioners, the housing minister has said.

The government has predicted more than a third of the population will be over 65 by 2036, compared with a fifth now.

Deputy Sean Power said his department had started planning to provide more homes for people "in the autumn of their life".

"That probably means building on new sites as well as reusing existing ones", he said.

The Housing Department is already "realigning" its stock to meet an increased demand for one and two-bedroom flats from older people who want to downsize.

Bathrooms in 800 States homes are also being refitted to make them easier for elderly people to use.

Mr Power told BBC Jersey one of his, and future housing ministers', key priorities was to take into account that in coming years one in three of the population would be over 65.

Supplying more homes suitable for older residents was "a big job, with big responsibilities and big costs, but we'll do it," Deputy Power said.

He suggested looking to the urban areas of southern parishes, such as St Clement, St Brelade and St Saviour, for suitable housing sites.

"The population's not in the north of the island, it's in the south, and people want stay where they live.

"All those five or six parishes will have to address the problem, separately and together."

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