Leicestershire County Council is looking to work with a range of housing providers to develop a range of housing options, including housing with care and support schemes across Leicestershire by 2037 for both older adults and working age adults with disabilities.
Leicestershire has a growing population, with an expected rise of around 85,000 people by the year 2038. This means there is a rise in demand on suitable accommodation, particularly for older people.
Leicestershire’s older residents have a range of needs, priorities and preferences, and the council wants them to have a range of accommodation options.
Most people who have care and support needs now, or who may develop care and support needs in the future, wish to be supported in their own home or move to a home that can better meet their needs instead of moving into a residential care home. The council’s ambition is to work with their partners to develop a range of quality accommodation-based services for people across Leicestershire, including those who wish to buy their home.
The council is looking to work with a range of housing providers to develop a range of housing options, including housing with care and support schemes across Leicestershire by 2037 for both older adults and working age adults with disabilities. This will enable many more people to remain safe and independent in a suitable home environment that connects them to other people, their community, and the services they need or might need in the future.
The council’s approach
The council has developed an investment prospectus ‘Building accommodation to meet the needs of people in Leicestershire 2019 – 2037’ to encourage investment by housing and care providers in a range of different housing options, including housing with care and accommodation with support schemes, to cater for the wide-ranging and demanding needs of local people.
The objectives of the council’s investment prospectus are:
- To improve housing and accommodation options for older people and other adults with care and support needs.
- To manage demand and contain growth. By having a greater influence over the development of the care market, the council can ensure that there is sufficient accommodation with the right combination of services.
- To influence the market to deliver the housing and accommodation required by older people.
- To alleviate cost pressures through improved use of capital expenditure as well as support cost avoidance of high hotel costs incurred in purchase of residential/other specialist care/support.
- To create a prosperous venture. Using the council’s assets and working in partnership to provide the opportunity to build something that creates a return on investment.
To develop this investment prospectus, the council undertook an extensive assessment of the housing needs and requirements of older people and other adults with care and support needs. The Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA) estimates that there will be a need for an additional 9,460 specialist dwellings for older persons in Leicestershire over the 2011-36 period.
Based on the assessment of housing and care needs, the investment prospectus sets out a series of opportunities for housing and accommodation providers including:
- Develop mainstream and open market housing that is suitable for older people. New housing needs to be developed and designed with older people in mind. Accessible accommodation that takes into consideration ramps, lifts, grab rails and wet rooms or ground floor apartments would be necessary to meet this growing need.
- Develop smaller scale housing developments for older people in small towns and villages. Older people need to feel safe and secure when they move into more suitable accommodation and being familiar with nearby amenities will allow for a smoother transition. Developments like this would be ideal within or on the outskirts of small towns and large villages.
- Develop housing solutions for older people in town centres and neighbourhoods. Building housing solutions close by town centres will be beneficial to locals and attractive to those currently living on the outskirts.
- Develop specialist accommodation for extra care housing schemes. There is huge potential for extra care housing in Leicestershire. Individuals leaving long stays in hospital may require more attentive and regular care. Extra care housing usually takes the format of self-contained apartments or rooms with communal facilities allowing individuals to have both independence and social interaction.
- Develop special assessment and dementia friendly units. Purpose-built accommodation that responds to specific needs of those with dementia is integral to the council’s investment plans.
These opportunities are shown in the investment prospectus for each of the districts in Leicestershire.
The programme is ongoing with the following outcomes to date:
- 150 units of extra care housing developed or in the pipeline
- 44 units of specialist accommodation for dementia care developed or in the pipeline