Building homes for older and more vulnerable people
Published: Wednesday 12th April 17
Wandsworth is one of only a few councils in the country to be building new supported housing developments.
Viridian supported housing development, Garratt Lane
This is part of commissioning plans that aim to provide appropriate, accessible and high quality supported housing within the borough.
Supported housing not only enables residents to live more independently, it also relieves pressure on the NHS.
However, a report by the London Assembly Housing Committee in November last year found that ‘London schemes were full and demand is projected to rise’.
Last December the council received planning permission for one of the first council supported housing schemes to be built in London for decades: a development of nine new supported housing council homes on the Putney Vale Estate, Roehampton, with an onsite support officer, along with 11 new council flats.
In September 2016, the Housing and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee approved a further proposal to build seven one-bedroom flats of supported housing in Colson Way, Tooting. Subject to planning permission, the redevelopment will get under way later this year.
Wandsworth Council, in partnership with housing associations, has supported four supported housing developments in the past five years including providing land and grant funding to support an extra care housing scheme in Tooting for 45 accessible homes for older people.
In partnership with Viridian Housing, the council secured funding and provided land for a nine-home supported housing development in Earlsfield, with construction expected to be complete by early next year.
Wandsworth has also worked with housing associations to refurbish and re-commission eight further supported housing schemes.
In 2013 and 2014, further schemes opened in Roehampton and in Tooting, together providing 17 independent, self-contained homes, while another in Putney delivered nine flats with one for a support worker. Supported by the council, extra care housing developments with planning permission look set to provide more than 100 new homes in the coming years.
Cllr Paul Ellis, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “I’m delighted that both as a council, and working with housing associations, we’re able to help vulnerable residents maintain their independence within the borough. All local authorities are facing pressure on budgets to meet increasing social care costs. However, supported housing can be a better alternative for many than residential care, and I hope that the NHS recognises the benefit that can come from supporting such schemes. Wandsworth Council’s approach is surely one that should be repeated across London, and across the country.”