Back in 2018 Care Housing Association (Care) became involved with a project to rehouse 15 people living in a residential home in Stockport that was due to close.
The residential service was home to adults with learning disabilities, most of whom had lived in the home for many many years. Sadly the home was no longer able to manage financially and had no option but to close, meaning all 15 residents needed to find alternative housing.
Independent Options, a support provider based in Stockport, took on the responsibility to provide the day to day support once the individuals were living in the community, and due to their strong relationship with Care, they contacted us to help find suitable housing.
There was limited time to find new houses for the individuals, but it was important to ensure we found properties that would be suitable long term homes and also keep the relationships that the 15 residents had built with each other over the years. The first step was for Care’s Housing and New Homes Manager, Claire, to sit down with the manager of the residential home, as well as the support provider, to chat about who the 15 people were, and try to split them into four groups who could each live together in a shared house. The home’s manager knew her residents well, and knew which friendship groups would like to continue living together.
The next step was to discuss what each of the four groups required from a house. Care’s mission statement – Offering individuals requiring support a personalised choice of high quality and sustainable supported homes while promoting independence – ensured that careful consideration was made for each individual, to look not just at what they would need from a house, but also what they would like.
Some of the individuals had strong links in the local community, enjoying walks to their local shops, and regular visits to a local café. It was important for them that they still lived close enough to enjoy this lifestyle, and so for these groups we looked only within the local area.
Other people in the group were becoming less mobile as they grew older, and so importance was placed on giving them independence for as long as possible. A bungalow was found on a quiet cul-de-sac with large private gardens for them to enjoy. A large conservatory was built to allow them to enjoy views of their garden all year round.
All four properties required extensive renovation work to make them suitable for the needs of the people living there, not just now but in the future, with garage conversions, extensions, and wet rooms, as well as new kitchens and bathrooms, being fitted to make the houses ready for everyone to move in.
The four groups have lived in their new homes for just over a year now, and everyone has settled in. After living in a residential home for so long, it was a big change for everyone but spending time to find out what would make each individual happy in their new home will hopefully mean they can spend many years to come enjoying living there.
Independent Options Chief Executive, the support provider who provide the day to day support for the tenants in their new homes, feels the move has been a great success for all involved: When the closure of Norwood was announced people supported, families and staff were full of apprehension. Norwood management team worked closely with Care Housing Association and Independent Options. All agencies worked together to meet not just only tight timescales, specific housing requirements and locations within local communities. This work was carried out in a very person-centred way with a clear focus on individual needs and wishes. The project was an outstanding success. Tenants, staff and families have only praise for the standard of quality and housing provided by Care. What a fantastic company!!
Julie, a tenant who moved from Norwood into one of our supported living houses said: I was very happy to move from Norwood to my new home with my fiancée so we could be together again. I am very happy to live here I couldn’t be any luckier.
The closure of the residential home was a shock to the families of those living there, and they were understandably worried about what it would mean for their loved ones future, but now they have seen their new lives in their new homes they feel it has been a positive move: We were apprehensive about the move to begin with but it has turned out for the best for Carol. We cannot complain it has worked out wonderfully. The house and staff are lovely we couldn’t be more thankful. Carol is so settled we are really happy.