7 August 2013

£2.5m boost for Brighton older people housing scheme

Plans for a development of 45 self-contained flats offering social care support for vulnerable older people in Brighton & Hove have taken a massive step forward.

Brighton & Hove City Council has won nearly £2.5m of government funding for extra care housing. The proposed scheme will rise from the site of Brooke Mead, an outdated block of council bed-sit accommodation in Albion Street, Brighton, which will be demolished.

It will provide 45 self-contained one and two-bedroom 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 nearly £9m, with the rest of the money coming from council budgets and rental income.

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 the needs of people with dementia, and  10% of the accommodation will be fully wheelchair-accessible.
 
The chair of the council’s adult care and health committee, Councillor Rob Jarrett, said: “We’re very keen to increase the amount of specialised housing for older people and adults with disabilities. Extra care housing is a win-win because it enables vulnerable people to maintain their independence but in a supported environment. It has proved very popular so this is a massive step forward for us.”
 
The chair of the council’s housing committee, Councillor Bill Randall, said: “The Brooke Mead scheme will help meet the growing demand for extra-care housing in the city. 30 per cent of the council’s sheltered housing tenants are aged 80 or more and 49 per cent are disabled. Extra-care housing provides a cost-effective way of helping them and other older people in the city maintain their independence.”
 
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 October. Should planning permission be granted, it is hoped that work on the development will start at the end of the year with residents moving in at the end of next year.