A pioneering £11 million housing scheme for older people in Harwich – the first to be delivered by Essex County Council’s £27 million investment in creating new Independent Living homes – is now officially open.
The ribbon was cut on Rosebank Park, which offers housing for local people aged 55 and over who have a care need, by its first resident, Julie Beazley, 60, at a celebratory event for residents on Thursday 22 June.
Rosebank Park, located adjacent to Fryatt Hospital, Main Road, is managed by Season and offers 70 stylish apartments designed to meet local people’s changing needs in later life.
Each self-contained apartment features one or two bedrooms, a modern open plan living, kitchen and dining area and bathroom. Residents also benefit from communal facilities including a residents’ lounge, dining room, mobility scooter store with charging points and private courtyard garden.
The scheme was developed by Ashley House and their funding partner Funding Affordable Homes.
ECC supported the development of the scheme with a funding contribution of £1.7 million, part of a £27 million investment to help create up to 1,800 new Independent Living homes to meet demand around the county over the next five years.
Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health & Social Care, Essex County Council, said: “Our ambition is to provide the maximum help we can so that people in later life can have the best quality of life at a cost we can afford. And that’s why our Independent Living programme, and Rosebank Park, are so important. Our investment has enabled people to have the quality of like that they want, in a safe and pleasant environment.”
Paul Honeywood, Tendring District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “It is fantastic news that Tendring is the first to get these new homes and more are to follow at Walton later this summer. It gives people – especially some of our most vulnerable people – another choice and one that means they can continue to live independently at home. We fully support this initiative.”
Kevin Beirne, Group Director of Housing Care and Support, One Housing, said: “These modern, stylish and spacious apartments will help older people in Harwich continue to live independently in a cleverly designed home. I love seeing the huge difference to residents’ lives our Season team has already made, making them smile and helping to build a fantastic community.”
Jonathan Holmes, Commercial Director, Ashley House, said: “Seeing local people today enjoying living in these great new homes is a real privilege and the reason our team work so hard with like-minded partners to deliver schemes like Rosebank Park.”
Julie Beazley and husband Edgar, 64, were the first residents to move in to Rosebank Park in January 2017. She said: “I had numerous falls in our previous home, a first floor flat without a lift, and we felt trapped. When this became available we couldn’t believe our luck because it had everything we needed within one building. It’s given us both a new lease of life.”
A second new Independent Living scheme in Tendring, Beaumont House in Walton-on-the-Naze, is set to welcome its first residents in July 2017.
Independent Living is similar to Assisted Living or Extra Care housing, and is a positive alternative to residential care for people with a care need in later life.