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More homes for elderly residents
Thursday 26th March, 2015

Hundreds of new purpose-built homes for elderly and disabled residents will be developed over the next five years.

The plans, which were approved by Wigan Council’s cabinet members earlier this month will see 500 new homes built on the former Abraham Guest School site in Orrell over the next five years. The homes will contribute to meeting the future health and care needs of Wigan Borough’s growing population of older people, while promoting independence, choice and control.

Helena Partnerships, a housing association who specialise in providing accommodation for elderly people, has been given a 125 year ground lease by Wigan Council to provide a mixture of bungalows, affordable homes and extra care units. The land has attracted a lot of attention from private developers; however the council has sacrificed a potential £2m capital receipt to allow the project to go ahead.

Extra care is a type of specialised housing that provides independence and choice to people with varying care needs. It allows them to remain in their own home, preventing older people or people with disabilities moving into a residential home or nursing settings when their needs become more complex – which also helps to tackle social isolation and loneliness.

Services will be provided in a purpose-built, high quality housing environment with care and support delivered to meet the individual resident’s needs. This type of housing provides a 24-hour on-site support, access to meals, leisure and wellbeing facilities and a safe environment to its residents. It will also provide a base for wider opportunities to the local community such as a range of day time activities and good information and advice services.

The housing association will pay for the scheme with the £2.9m in capital grant funding they were awarded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) as part of their Affordable Homes Programme. Subject to planning permission, construction will being in spring 2015 and will be complete by the end of 2016.

Councillor Keith Cunliffe, cabinet member for adult social care and health at Wigan Council, welcomed the proposals, commenting:

“As part of the Deal for Adult Social Care, Wigan Council is working hard to ensure our older residents are able to live full and valued lives in their own homes, to avoid them having to enter residential care.

“This scheme will help many more residents realise that aspiration.”

Councillor Paul Kenny, cabinet member for resources at Wigan Council, said:

“This programme will not only provide much needed accommodation and support for residents, but it will also help the council save around £450k a year."

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