When you feel you want to live independently but need to know there is a little extra care, thinking about your options can feel daunting.
That’s why we’re looking at giving more choice to people who are looking to remain independent at home.
I’d like to see more opportunities for people to move into flexible accommodation that can provide assistance if needs change. This type of accommodation is known as extra-care housing and offers a place to live that feels independent and individual to you, but with support when you need it and a sense of community. One of the great things is you have your own front door but there are communal facilities to meet neighbours. People living in extra-care housing are reassured because they are less likely to need to move again. That’s good news for them and good news for the health and social care system, because costly nursing care can be avoided.
At Lincolnshire County Council, we’re looking to invest in up to 600 new extra-care housing apartments. We’ve set aside £8m to kick start the development. We’ll be looking at spreading out the sites across the county, with some here in North Kesteven.
Lincolnshire’s ‘over 75s’ age group is expected to grow by 21 per cent in the next five years. We’re going to be working with district councils and looking for investment from social care housing providers, who will eventually build, maintain and run the properties. But the council’s investment will mean we can influence the type, location and number of new extra-care housing units to meet the needs of residents.
Of course, projects like this bring jobs and investment too. We hope the first residents will move into new homes by December 2017. We’re also going to be encouraging builders working on new council houses to design in accessible and adaptable housing as part of any new developments.