Older residents will have greater choice when planning for their future needs as new extra care housing is developed across north Oxfordshire.
The homes are being delivered to meet Cherwell District Council’s and Oxfordshire County Council’s ambitions to provide for local people’s varied needs. The councils are working to promote awareness of extra care housing, which lets older people live independently whilst having access to round-the-clock care.
The schemes can include affordable rented accommodation as well as shared ownership and market housing. Cherwell is now considering applications for 16 affordable rent units recently completed by housing association Bromford at Park Gardens, its new retirement living scheme on Bath Road, Banbury. The councils are keen for people to make contact if they have a housing and care need.
Cllr John Donaldson, Cherwell’s Lead Member for Housing, said: “We have the ambition to make Banbury a truly age-friendly town. We know that people’s care requirements change as they move through life, but that doesn’t mean they should lose options to retain their privacy and independence.
“Providing a range of extra care housing schemes helps us to meet different housing and care needs and provide support for older people as they need it.”
Extra care housing developments across the district have been shown to deliver positive outcomes such as a reduced demand on GPs and hospitals and a reduction in social isolation.
Working together, the county and district councils assess the care and housing needs of people applying to live in extra care housing. In addition, they will shape the design and specifications of extra care housing through the planning process, offering guidance on quality, wheelchair accessibility, and care design standards.
Cllr Lawrie Stratford, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “Extra care housing can give people a new lease of life and it’s something I would urge people to consider sooner rather than later. Given the freedom and independence extra care housing developments offer, it makes sense for people to consider this housing and care option before their need becomes urgent.
“Oxfordshire County Council is working to expand the number of extra care schemes for older residents over the coming years and we are interested in talking to providers to help us bring forward further new provision.”
Cllr Ian Corkin, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Cherwell partnership, said: “Housing and social care are two areas where district and county council responsibilities overlap. We are taking innovative steps to align services across the two tiers of government so they offer better outcomes for those who need our support.
“Extra care housing is an example of our partnership work and I look forward to seeing its contribution towards improved housing, health and social outcomes for local older people in future.”
Park Gardens, part of a £12m investment by Bromford, is one of several extra care housing developments providing affordable rent and shared ownership for people who have a housing and care need. Other schemes in Cherwell district include Centurion House in Bicester, Moorside Place in Kidlington, and Orchard Meadows and Stanbridge House in Banbury. They all offer modern, accessible living with services and facilities on site.
Extra care housing contributes to the development of age friendly communities. The Age Friendly Banbury initiative, which is working to make the town a friendlier, safer and healthier place to grow old in, is being pursued by partners including Age UK (Oxon), the Oxfordshire Community Foundation, the Royal Voluntary Service, Sanctuary Housing, and other agencies supporting a range of needs of people as they grow older.
Header image is a CGI of Bromford’s new retirement living scheme at Park Gardens, on Bath Road, Banbury.