Pupils help launch over-55's housing

New homes for older people who want to live independent lives were unveiled last week – with a helping hand from the younger generation.

Notting Hill Housing’s Cheviot Gardens development was officially opened on Friday, and youngsters from nearby Julian’s Primary School helped bury a time capsule to mark the event.

The capsule, which will lie in the garden area for 50 years, contained a Julian’s School jumper, toys, a TV magazine, a USB stick holding Real London Lives, a unique film project telling the story of life in affordable housing, a copy of Time Out and £5 notes, both old and new.

Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and South Norwood, and Lambeth councillor Jane Pickard also spoke at the event, attended by many of the current residents.

Cheviot Gardens, off Cheviot Road, West Norwood, caters for over-55s who want to live independent lives – but know support is on-hand.

The scheme includes Lambeth’s first ever Older Person’s Shared Ownership (OPSO) properties, which allow people to buy up to 75% of a property. But, unlike with traditional Shared Ownership, they will not pay rent on the rest.

Cheviot Gardens also provides a range of extra care facilities that can benefit residents if and when their support needs change. In addition to the 18 OPSO homes, there are also 66 extra care properties for those in need of additional care and support.

Kate Davies, Chief Executive of Notting Hill Housing, said at the event: “We are very excited and happy to be opening Cheviot Gardens. It’s a great facility for people in the local area, and a very nice place to live, with a beautiful garden.

“I would be happy living here myself, and I’m really proud of the opportunity we are giving people to buy or rent a home in this lovely scheme.”

Helen Hayes MP added: “Over the past two years I have seen this site growing out of the ground and it’s an enormous pleasure to see it complete.

“There is lots of debate around the challenges of caring for an ageing population so it’s great to come here and see exactly how it should be done – to see a place where we’d be pleased to live ourselves or have family living.

“It is such a delight to have a great example in my community of how to build better places for an ageing population.”