Paul’s Wall – July 2011
We have been doing a lot of thinking recently about sheltered housing. What it looks like, what the services we provide are like, what will the client group be like in five, ten, fifteen years?
When I came into social housing in 1980 some of the unpopular sheltered schemes I had to manage had bed-sitting room flats with communal toilet and bathing facilities on the corridors. These became so unpopular that by the end of the 1980s they were being decommissioned and demolished.
Currently we are finding it increasingly difficult to let bed-sitting room flats with bathrooms. So much so that we are currently in the process of decommissioning and will demolish a whole scheme in Chorley.
My worry is that if we do not address some of the emerging issues around sheltered housing very soon then it won’t be long before the process I have described above happens to our existing schemes.
We have recently undertaken a survey of perceptions about sheltered housing through the Adactus500. The results of this survey are very interesting and some of the findings back up my concerns (full survey can be viewed in the adactus500 section of our blog) Some of the ideas we have had include; revamping the communal areas to make them more modern and appealing to the next generation of over 55s, employing a caretaker at each scheme who will do gardening, window cleaning and odd jobs for people as well as adding extra security and re-branding the accommodation along the lines of retirement living/apartments.
I would be interested in your views so please let me know what you think.
All the very best.