Extra Care housing schemes

Sue Dunn (excellent.homes@kirklees.gov.uk) Last updated - September 2014

About Extra Care housing schemes

Of the homes built through the Excellent Homes for Life project, 140 are mainly for frailer, older people who need additional levels of care and support, while 10 homes are specifically designed for people with dementia and associated conditions.

An Extra Care housing scheme consists of a number of individual homes, alongside shared communal facilities. The Excellent Homes for Life project has built three Extra Care housing schemes, each with between 41 and 53 flats and communal facilities including a hairdressing salon, restaurant, activity rooms, therapy rooms and residents' lounge. Some of the facilities, such as the restaurant and hairdressing salon and access to some of the activities and events held at the scheme will be available for the local community, as well as tenants.

The contract for the catering in all three schemes was awarded to Kirklees Catering Service. The restaurant in each scheme welcomes tenants, their friends/relatives and the public alike and is very reasonably priced. The restaurants are open for the breakfast menu each morning and also serve drinks and snacks throughout the morning. The lunchtime service is from 12pm to 2pm and provides a choice of hot and cold meals and snacks. These include a choice of traditional hot dinner with a choice of portion size and price and there is a vegetarian option each day, Lighter meals include salads, quiche, panini’s, filled jacket potatoes, omlettes and a selection of desserts and cakes. Menus are on a 4 week plan and are rotated weekly. Dietary requirements can be catered for on request e.g. diabetic, coeliac, gluten intolerance

Extra Care housing enables frailer, older people to remain independent for longer, living in their own home and maintaining a good quality of life. Extra Care housing schemes also help to reduce social isolation by enabling people to remain a part of the community as the schemes are designed to be a 'hub', providing services for other local people in the community as well as those living within the scheme. Extra Care housing can also help prevent people going into hospital unnecessarily or being kept in hospital after they are fit to return home due to the presence of an on-site care and support team.

Janet and Stuart tell us all about their new home and the difference it's making to their lives.

Features of the homes

As well as access to communal facilities such as the restaurant and lounge, individual flats have a number of special features.

The homes are being built to high environmental standards and will be energy efficient, well insulated and use less water. This makes them cheaper to run and also reduces carbon emissions, which is better for the environment.

The government’s ‘Sustainable Homes’ standard has been used as a basis for including environmental improvements in the design of the new homes.

The homes also meet the government's ‘Lifetime Homes’ standard which means they will include design features which minimise the need for changes or adaptions to be made to a building if the tenant's needs change over time.

They all have a good level of security which will help people to feel safe in their home and immediate environment. An assistive technology system allows tenants to call for assistance in an emergency from within their flats or elsewhere in the building. There is external lighting and the homes have doors, windows and locks which meet the high standards required by the ‘Secured by Design’ standard.

Artist impression of one of the Extra Care housing schemes

Artist's impression of one of the Extra Care housing schemes

Where and when the homes will be built

As the Extra Care housing schemes are large and were complicated to build, the construction of the three schemes was phased. They are built on three sites, all located within existing communities and with access to local facilities:

  • The first scheme is built on the former Westmoor House site, School Lane, Dewsbury and is known as Woodland Court. Construction started in January 2012 and the scheme opened on 1st July 2013.
  • The second scheme is on the former Fairfield School site at, Dale Lane, Heckmondwike and is known as Meadow Green. This scheme also includes Meadow Green Lodge, a smaller self-contained unit at the side of the main scheme containing 10 flats for people with dementia who want to continue to live independently. Construction commenced in June 2012 and the scheme opened on 2nd December 2013.
  • The third scheme Sandy Mount, is located at Blackmoorfoot Road, Crosland Moor, Huddersfield. Construction commenced there in spring 2013 and the scheme was opened on 7th July 2014.

Renting the homes

The idea behind Extra Care housing is to enable frailer older people to live independently, and at the same time access the levels of care and support that they require.

The new homes will be offered to people following a care assessment and confirmation that they meet the criteria in the council's housing allocations policy for an Extra Care home. Prospective tenants must therefore have both a housing need and a care need and homes will be allocated on a priority of needs basis. All tenants will be council tenants.

Anyone who feels an Extra Care home would suit their needs or knows of someone who would benefit from living within an Extra Care housing scheme should contact Gateway to care:

All applications for an Extra Care home will be considered by a special allocations panel and flats will be allocated strictly on priority of the applicant's need and suitability for the environment of an Extra Care housing scheme. Applicants must also meet the Extra Care Eligibility Criteria.

Management of the homes

The consortium, Regenter Excellent Homes for Life is managing the homes for 20 years through its contractor Pinnacle PSG. This includes carrying out maintenance and repairs, and looking after communal areas including external areas, such as the gardens and parking spaces. Pinnacle PSG also manage the tenancies of the new homes.

Pinnacle PSG also provide a 24/7 helpdesk service for tenants to report housing repairs or raise any other query or concern relating to either their tenancy or to the management or maintenance of their home.

More information:

Each Extra Care housing scheme will be managed on a day to day basis by a manager who will also have overall responsibility for ensuring that tenants receive the care and support they need from the on-site care team. The manager and the care and support team will be employed by a single provider in each scheme, who is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and accredited by Kirklees Council. The provider is being selected by the council for each scheme following a tendering process and this will be a separate contract. The council awarded the contract for the first scheme, Woodland Court, Dewsbury to Radis Community Care in April 2013 and the contract for the second and third schemes, Meadow Green and Sandy Mount was awarded to Community Integrated Care (CIC).

The performance of the care and support provider will be monitored by the CQC and by the council through its care contracts monitoring team