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Essex housing vision praised

08 November 2017
An Essex mayor and building contractor hold Independent Living sign

Plans to create 1,800 new specialist homes for local older people with a care need in Essex have won national praise.

Essex County Council’s Independent Living programme will enable many more older people in the county - who would otherwise live in residential care or a home of their own that may no longer meets their needs - to live independently.

The programme was commended in a report by the Local Government Association (LGA), published this autumn. In particular, Essex was commended for:

  • Having a clear vision, promoting awareness and changing attitudes towards housing in later life
  • Planning for its ageing population
  • Delivering and enabling new housing for older people
  • Promoting a combined approach towards housing, care and health.

Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Adult Health & Social Care, ECC, said: “Our ambition is to provide the maximum help we can so that everyone can have somewhere safe, pleasant and supportive to live in later life. It’s heartening that our approach in Essex has been recognised as an example for other local authorities around the country to follow.”

The council’s Independent Living programme will see £27.7 million invested between now and 2022 to help the development of new, self-contained homes.

Independent Living housing is sometimes referred to as Assisted Living or Extra Care. It is seen as a positive alternative to residential care homes for people who can continue to live independently in later life.

Each stylish apartment has one or two bedrooms, living area, kitchen, adapted bathroom and balcony or terrace. Schemes also offer shared facilities such as a dining room, mobility scooter store and garden.

The first two new Independent Living housing schemes for older people in Essex, Rosebank Park in Harwich, and Beaumont House in Walton, opened in 2017.

A third new scheme, Cornell Court in Saffron Walden, is due to open in summer 2018.

Construction will also begin on new schemes in the Braintree, Colchester, Epping Forest, Harlow and Rochford districts during 2018.

The LGA is the national voice of local government, working with councils to support, promote and improve local government.

Its Housing our Ageing Population report sets out what is required to meet the housing needs and aspirations of the ageing population nationally.

For more information about existing or future schemes, fill out our enquiry form.