Amsterdam has reached agreement with developers, housing corporations and investors to build 2,000 new homes in special complexes targeting the over 55s.

City officials have identified 10 locations for the projects, which will be awarded to developers on the basis of best plans rather than highest price. Several Holland Metropole partners are involved in the agreement.

‘This is a good first step,’ said Erwin Drenth, director Dutch healthcare investments at Holland Metropole partner Bouwinvest. ‘The enormous demand for housing for seniors is a challenge for companies, healthcare groups and the city authorities. But the city has a key role. I consider it crucial that more local authorities make policy with concrete targets to deal with housing for the elderly.’

The decision to open the complexes up to the over 55s has been taken deliberately, in the hope that younger residents will assist their more vulnerable neighbours. Officials are also looking at the option of setting up shared living spaces, targeting people with the same cultural background.

Some 100,000 people in Amsterdam are over the age of 65 but this expected to rise to 150,000 by 2030.

‘Amsterdammers often live in homes which are unsuitable to grow old in,’ alderman Laurens Ivens said. ‘We know 14% of Amsterdam’s elderly population would like to move and 19% live in homes which are too big for them. If you build special housing for the elderly, that frees up a family home. It is a win win situation.’