Ministers find funds to prolong independent life

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A £300M fund to help pensioners live independently for longer has been announced by the Government.

Council and housing providers can bid for cash to help build or modernise as many as 9,000 houses so residents are not forced into care.

The money could pay for supported housing with fewer stairs, lower cupboards for wheelchair users and adapted bathrooms.

Care Minister Norman Lamb said: “Most people want to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible, and as the population ages, more and more of us will need housing that supports us.”

Ministers hope adapted homes can also alleviate pressure on carers.

Homes and Communities Agency chief executive Pat Ritchie said: “This fund recognises the benefits which high quality housing opportunities for both older and disabled people can have in allowing them to remain independent for longer – raising their quality of life and helping reduce the burden on the health service.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “I’d like to see some truly innovative proposals coming forward, ones which set new standards in design and that can provide a benchmark for how this type of housing should be delivered.”