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One example of collective housing for the elderly is the service flat. These are apartments in private residential buildings in which the residents pay for the communal facilities themselves and the rent and care are priced at market level. The first luxury complexes were built in the 1920s and 1930s with comforts such as lifts, central heating, intercom, a restaurant, large apartments and guest rooms.

Initially the residents were modern city dwellers who were sufficiently progressive to live in such apartments. From the 1970s service flats were much more common because of the increasing numbers of wealthier pensioners. Today the market mostly builds independent apartments for pensioners, who buy in care and help individually or sometimes communally. Much of the housing is luxurious, ergonomically designed and located in inner-city neighbourhoods or rural areas with a wealth of recreational facilities.