Housing 21 signs Warwickshire extra care contract

Housing 21, a leading provider of housing and care services for older people, has signed a joint contract with Warwickshire County Council for the provision of around 320 new extra care apartments across the county.

The partners gathered together at Rohan Gardens, Housing 21’s recently completed extra care scheme in Warwick, to sign the £37 million contract and chat to residents who have benefited from the move into extra care.

Kris Peach, Regional Director for Housing 21 said: "Housing 21 is delighted to be working in partnership with Warwickshire County Council. Extra care housing is an increasingly popular choice for older people and this exciting project will bring huge benefits for this group of people across the county."

Extra care facilities enable older people to enjoy independent living with care and support on hand, tailored to individual needs. On-site communal facilities, which are also available to the wider local community, can include a restaurant, hairdressing salon and shop. The developments will offer opportunities for affordable rent and flexible shared ownership.

Councillor Jose Compton, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, said: “We are very pleased to be involved in this fantastic scheme, which will give older generations the chance to live independently and securely in their own homes in the heart of the local community. I’m extremely happy that the very constructive relationship we have had with Housing 21 will now provide exciting and much needed Extra Care Housing in other parts of the county.

Cllr Compton continued: “The new Extra Care Housing developments will help older individuals by giving them more choice and control about how they live in later life. I know how much people in Warwickshire have been anticipating these homes from the extent of interest they have already shown.”

One of those to benefit from the move to Rohan Gardens is Sue Hawkes, aged 60, who commented: “The place is wonderful. I wasn’t coping very well in the bungalow I lived in before and now I’m so glad I made the move. I get help with my shopping, I take part in activities, socialise with others and get taken on trips. I really can’t fault it.”

Housing 21 will work closely with local district councils and the building contractor, Willmott Dixon, in delivering the contract. Architects for the new developments are Glancy Nicholls and the Employers Agent is Osbournes. The Homes and Communities Agency have grant funded the first three schemes under Housing 21’s affordable housing programme 2011-15.

In addition to the newly completed Rohan Gardens, the contract will provide a total of over 350 units across Warwickshire in Bedworth, Rugby, Mancetter and Bishopton, with discussions at an advanced stage to deliver even more Extra Care Housing in the region as part of a successful tender.

Work is due to start in September on two new extra care schemes in Rugby and Bedworth. The new developments will also bring local employment opportunities including a number of building apprenticeships with Willmott Dixon through the construction phases. Housing 21 will also be looking to recruit staff for the new schemes, including care workers, cleaners, care team leaders and senior care workers. The on-site restaurant and hair and beauty salon could offer additional expansion opportunities to local caterers and hairdressers.