Retirement Homes: Government issues guidelines to states on regulation of such homes; to be friendly for differently-abled
Any person can buy such apartment but it has to be solely used by a senior citizen. The Resident of Retirement Homes can be any person who is over 60 years of age.
The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on March 6, 2019 issued the model guidelines for development & regulation of 'Retirement Homes'.
The Model Guidelines prescribe an elderly friendly built environment; address the special needs; and protect the rights of senior citizens and retirees living in Retirement Homes who aspire to spend their retired life independently in a safe and dignified environment.
The Guidelines provide option to senior citizens and their family members, who are willing and can afford to purchase a living space for their parents.
What is a Retirement Home?
A Retirement Home, sometimes called old age home but not exactly, is a multi-residence housing facility intended for the old and retired people.
In a retirement home, each old person or old couple lives in an apartment-style room or suite of rooms generally consisting of a living area, one or more bedrooms, bathrooms and a small kitchen.
The Model Guidelines will encourage inclusive growth and will enable all States to align their policies in line with these Model Guidelines to ensure the protection of rights of the senior citizens and promote a dignified life after retirement.
These Guidelines will boost investment in the Retirement Home segment, and will contribute in employment generation in industries associated with Retirement Homes.
Model Guidelines on 'Retirement Homes'
• Retirement Homes should be aligned with the guidelines and norms of the National Building Code (NBC); Model Building Bye Laws; and Harmonised Guidelines and Space Standards for Barrier Free Built Environment for persons with Disability and Elderly Persons.
• Homes should have elderly-friendly environment like lifts with audio and visual signage, wheel chair accessibility, ramps, anti-skid tiles, elderly friendly design of door-knobs, hand rails, furniture, kitchens with gas leak detection systems, and power back up facilities.
• They should have compliance with Green Building Principles as provided in Model Building Bye Laws and should be compliant with use of non-polluting and renewable energy.
• Common basic services should be there like 24X7 water and electricity supply, proper hygiene, security and housekeeping, helpdesk, transportation assistance, yoga and fitness facilities, etc.
• There shall be provision of basic medical, safety and security services like on-site ambulance service, mandatory tie up with with the nearest hospitals and pharmacy, medical emergency room, regular medical check-up of residents, emergency alarm systems, CCTV cameras.
• There shall be deployment of trained security personnel and prior police verification of all the personnel deployed in the Retirement Homes.
• Customised services over and above the basic common services like internal and external housekeeping, managing dining services, assistance with legal services, etc., if required by the residents has also been prescribed.
The number of senior citizens in India has increased to 10.4 crore in 2011 from around 7.6 crore in 2001. This number is expected to grow to 17.3 crore by 2025 and about 24 crores by 2050.
• Any person can buy such apartment but it has to be solely used by a senior citizen.
• Resident of Retirement Homes can be any person who is over 60 years of age.
Management of Retirement Homes
Any promoter or developer can build and manage the Retirement Homes or even can engage a ‘Service Provider’ or ‘Retirement Home Operator’ for management of Retirement Homes.
Such Service Providers will be required to be registered with appropriate State Authorities. With an aim to encourage participation of promoters and developers to develop such projects, the government has proposed an enhanced Floor Area Ratio (FAR).
Regulation of Retirement Homes
Retirement Home apartments can only be sold after registration under the respective Real Estate Regulatory Authorities of the States and Union Territories.
To protect the rights of the residents, a list of ‘Basic Rights of the Allottee/Resident of a Retirement Home’ has been specified.
The Model Guidelines provides for disclosure of technical skill of the Service Provider in the form of a ‘Tri-Partite Agreement’ among the Developer, Service Provider or Operator and Allottee.
Security Deposit & Maintenance Charges
The Allottee is required to pay the Interest Free Maintenance Security Deposit (IFMS) which is refundable within a maximum period of three months from the date of refund application.
Residents need to pay Maintenance Charges on lump-sum basis or monthly/quarterly/yearly basis, based on mutually agreed terms.
Task Force & Monitoring Committees to be constituted
For smooth implementation of the Model Guidelines, a Task Force for constant dialogue with States, UTs and other stakeholders will be set up by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
Appropriate Monitoring Committees will be constituted by States and UTs for timely implementation of all applicable laws, regulations, rules and guidelines governing the Retirement Homes.