28 November 2013

Funding for older people housing scheme set to be agreed

Plans for a development of 44 flats offering 24-hour social care support for vulnerable older people in Brighton & Hove could take a big step forward at a council meeting on Thursday 5 December.

Brighton & Hove City Council has won nearly £2.5m of government funding for an ‘extra care’ housing scheme in Albion Street. It would rise from the site of Brooke Mead, an outdated block of former council accommodation which would be demolished.

The scheme would provide 44 self-contained flats for older people who wish to continue to live independently, safe in the knowledge that care and support is available when needed. The total cost of the scheme is expected to be around £8.3m, with the money coming from council budgets, Homes and Communities Agency subsidy and rental income.

Extra care housing is popular with residents as they are able to maintain more independence than they would have in a full-time care home. It is also significantly cheaper than care home accommodation.

The ‘new’ Brooke Mead has been designed to national ‘Life Time Homes’ standards, to meet residents’ changing abilities and circumstances. Particular care has been taken in the design to cater for the needs of people with dementia, and 10% of the accommodation will be fully wheelchair-accessible.

A plan for financing the Brooke Mead development has been recommended for approval at the council’s Policy and Resources committee on December 5.

Council leader Jason Kitcat said: “We want to increase the amount of specialised housing for older people and adults with disabilities. Extra care housing makes taxpayers’ money go further and is popular with residents. It’s a key part of our plans to improve services while saving money.”

The funding is subject to planning approval. An application has been submitted and is due to be considered by the council’s planning committee in December.

Should planning permission be granted, the council aims to start demolishing the existing building early next year, with residents moving in during 2015.  ENDS