Major developments in Calderdale show how 'extra care' social housing is evolving

Railway Bridge View at Rastrick is due to be completed in partnership with the Home Group by summer 2020,
Railway Bridge View at Rastrick is due to be completed in partnership with the Home Group by summer 2020,

A scheme opening next year at Rastrick and one planned for north Halifax two years later show how developing “extra care” social housing continues to evolve in Calderdale.

They are the latest developments undertaken by Calderdale Council with partner organisations over almost a quarter of a century, housing delivery lead officer Heidi Wilson told members of the Adults Health and Social Care Scrutiny Board.

The popular Clement Court at Halifax, developed with Together Housing, was the first extra care scheme in 2001 with developments at Mytholm Meadows, Hebden Bridge, Willow Court, Elland, and Ing Royd, Skircoat, Halifax, demonstrating how more needs were being met in the years since, she said.

Ms Wilson said by the time of Willow Court in 2009, the development had “the air of going into a hotel, not going into care” while a number of the Ing Royd homes were shared ownership.

Railway Bridge View at Rastrick – its name chosen by local schoolchildren – was due to be completed in partnership with the Home Group by summer 2020, hopefully opening around September, and would include homes for people with dementia, ten apartments among the 65 units being built.

Importantly the dementia-friendly apartments were not all grouped together in a wing but spread through the development and would help people to live independently, she said.

“It is an incredibly challenging scheme and a lot of planning is still going into it,” said Ms Wilson.

Two years after that it is planned another Home Group partnership project to develop 78 apartments at Furness Avenue, Halifax, will be completed, including four in a wing to be allocated to people of all ages with learning difficulties, she said.

Coun Mike Barnes (Lab, Skircoat) asked why in this case they would be in a wing of their own while the dementia-friendly units were scattered through that development and Ms Wilson said this was at the relevant service’s request.

“We have to listen to what colleagues in a specialised field say – if they had asked for them to be scattered about we wouldn’t have had a problem with that,” she said.
In each development’s case in the main there would be a housing provider but people’s care was commissioned separately, said Ms Wilson.