Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
9:28 AM 12th February 2020

Housing For Older People In Leeds To Be 'Transformed'

Work has started on a pioneering scheme to transform housing for older people with care needs in Leeds.

Bulldozers moved in this week to clear land on Amblers Orchard, West Ardsley – the site of the former West Ardsley Day Centre – in the first phase of Leeds City Council’s ambitious extra care housing programme which will see seven state of the art buildings constructed, providing over 400 more places. The programme is being delivered by a combination of the Council providing land for specialist developers to build on 4 sites and directly funding 3 Council buildings. The Council is dedicating £30m to the programme.

Extra care housing is primarily for people who have care and support needs who are unable to cope in their own home and may previously have had to enter residential care. Each tenant has their own flat, helping preserve independence, but extra-care helps to alleviate social isolation through access to shared facilities, dining and activities and also provides on-site access and 24/7 emergency help – an additional feature that differentiates it from other forms of retirement living.

The Amblers Brow site – due for completion in July 2021 – will comprise of 63 extra care housing apartments with communal facilities open to the public. In addition, 100% of the new development at Amblers Brow will be affordable homes for rent. The project is being delivered as a partnership between Leeds City Council, developer Morgan Ashley and Home Group, one of the UK’s leading providers of housing, health and social care.

Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities Councillor Debra Coupar said:

"Extra care housing is proving to be an extremely popular option as it offers tailored accommodation and individual support to older people. There’s a critical shortage of extra care housing and this new Council programme will not only go a substantial way towards the city meeting the target of 1,000 extra care homes across the city by 2028 but act as a catalyst to promote wider development by other providers."

Leeds City Council’s executive member for health, wellbeing and adults Councillor Rebecca Charlwood said:

"We’ve listened to feedback from older and disabled people as to what they want to help realise their aspirations, and have reflected this in the programme as part of our drive to make Leeds the best city to grow old in. I’m delighted work has now started on the first site in West Ardsley and look forward to monitoring the scheme’s overall progress in the months and years ahead."

Lindsay Courtney, Strategic Lead for Service Design and Practice at Home Group, said:

"We’re delighted work in Leeds is underway, and can’t wait to welcome our first residents next year. Community wellbeing at Home Group includes extra care services where housing and health can be integrated to maximise independence. We want to keep people active for longer, less isolated and empowered to do the things they love in life, and are excited to be working alongside Leeds City Council to achieve this."

Laurence Basturkmen, Director of Later Living, Morgan Ashley Care Developments said:

"Morgan Ashley is delighted that the first of four exciting Extra Care projects that we are delivering in partnership with Leeds City Council and specialist Registered Provider Home Group is now on site. The scheme has been developed with comprehensive community consultation and we look forward to delivering a high-quality build with local contractor Torsion Group."