A day of celebration for Medway housing scheme

A new Housing 21 extra care scheme for older people in Gillingham was the focus of attention last week when residents at Prospect Place in Blake Avenue were joined by guests to celebrate the scheme’s official opening.  The event also saw the formal launch of Better Homes: Housing for the third age - the Kent Housing Group and Joint Policy and Planning Board's Framework for delivering older people's accommodation across Kent and Medway. The framework seeks to promote and help to enable the delivery of new high quality, aspirational accommodation for older people across the county.

Among the guests was Councillor Howard Doe, who presented resident Colin Mitchell with an official opening plaque. The Right Reverend James Langstaff, the Bishop of Rochester, launched the housing framework along with Deborah White, Chair of Kent Housing Group.

Commenting on the launch of the housing framework the Bishop of Rochester said: "Housing for older people is growing more and more important as our people are living longer. It is so good to see local authorities, developers and housing organisations across Kent and Medway cooperating in order to address this issue which is so important for the future of our society".

Prospect Place was completed earlier this year and provides 60 one and 20 two bedroom apartments for people aged 55 and over.  Communal facilities on-site include a hair and beauty salon, residents’ lounge and restaurant. The high quality apartments, which are available for affordable rent, allow people with a social care need to live independently in their own home, whilst enjoying a full and flexible care and support service. Prospect Place has a care manager on site but the ethos of the development is to promote independent living.

The £8.7 million scheme, which is part of the Victory Pier development, was built in partnership with Medway Council and Berkeley Homes with £4.4 million of investment from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Tayo Bilewu, director of property for Housing 21 said: “I’m delighted that so many of the partners in this exciting project have been able to join with residents to celebrate the opening of Prospect Place and launch the framework for shaping future accommodation for older people. Prospect Place is an excellent example of how extra care living can benefit not only those who live there but also the wider local community.”

Cllr Howard Doe said: “One of the council’s priorities is to ensure that older and vulnerable people are cared for. Prospect Place allows residents to enjoy independent living with the peace of mind that a care manager is on site if ever they need something.”