Mayor secures housing boost for older and disabled Londoners

24 July 2013

The Mayor, Boris Johnson, has secured almost £30m of funding to build hundreds of specialist, high quality homes for older and disabled Londoners, helping them to remain independent and part of their local community.

The funding forms the first phase of the Mayor’s Care and Supported Housing Fund, delivered in partnership with the Department of Health, and will see 669 purpose-built affordable homes on 35 supported housing developments across the capital.

Designed to stimulate the specialised housing market, the fund which will eventually help around 1,500 older and disabled Londoners and forms a key part of the Mayors ‘Housing Covenant’ designed to improve housing options while boosting jobs and growth in the capital’s construction industry.

The programme reflects the importance of delivering more specialised accommodation as the proportion of older Londoners increases and people live longer. Each home built under the Fund will adhere to the Mayor’s high standards of design, as already outlined in the London Plan, and provide a comfortable living space with very few or no stairs, cupboards at reachable height for wheelchair users, adapted bathrooms and handrails.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “It is essential that we increase the supply of purpose built, quality homes for older and disabled Londoners if they are to have a real choice in how and where they live. These affordable homes will help hundreds of Londoners remain in their own communities and, with a greater demand for quality and design, raise the benchmark for how this type of specialised housing is delivered in the future.”

Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb said: "As we know, most people want to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible, and as the population ages more and more of us will need housing that supports us. I’m glad to be helping to fund over 660 homes in London for people that are tailored to their needs and will support them to carry on life for as long as possible without the need of going into a care home.”

The development of specially designed housing of this kind will give older and disabled Londoners the option to downsize from a larger home to a more manageable property, better suited to their individual needs. In turn this will improve the wider housing market by freeing up larger properties, helping to tackle overcrowding and provide more homes for working Londoners.

This first phase of the fund has seen grants allocated to 35 supported housing developments, who were invited to bid for funding earlier in the year, to improve and replace existing housing stock. The second phase, due to launch later this summer, will invite developers to submit plans to stimulate the private specialised housing market with innovative design, accessibility and new technology.

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Notes to editors

• For more information on the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund and to download a prospectus, please visit www.london.gov.uk/priorities/housing/mayors-care-and-supported-housing-fund 

• The fund is delivered in partnership with the Department of Health. Today they allocated £29,353,767 of funding to London to deliver 669 affordable adapted homes.

• The fund will stimulate the specialised housing market across the capital by: a) Improving the appeal of specialised housing options available to Londoners by increasing the variety, quality and number of homes available, particularly those for sale or shared ownership. b) Supporting the supply of well-designed affordable housing schemes including a specialised element. c) Promoting new and innovative types of supported housing schemes, that may incorporate new technologies that are designed to help deliver appropriate levels of care for Londoners. d) Supporting supply of specialised housing across the wider market, through targeted investment into private developments that provide attractive housing opportunities for a wide range of homeowners. e) Improving joined-up working at a local level between local authorities, housing developers (private and affordable), health professionals, social services and local planners. This will result in a legacy of good practice and local analysis and assessment of need that can inform and ensure future development of specialised housing whilst adhering to the needs of Londoners.

• The fund can be used to build new specialised homes, and remodel existing poorly utilised sheltered accommodation. These new homes must be designed to high standards that will enable disabled and older people in London to live independently but where high levels of care can be economically provided for the resident if and when it is required. They will provide a range of property for rent and for sale that will be particularly of use for those people whose care cannot be adequately delivered in their existing home.

• The fund will run from 2013-14 and complete at the end of 2017-18. It will be delivered in two phases. Phase one invites bids for supported housing developments that require housing grant. Phase two invites expressions of interest on stimulating the private housing market. The advisory panel will input into phase two of the fund.

• The bidding round for phase one opened on 26 October 2012 and closed on 18 January 2013.

• The 35 successful bids are: 960,000 24 £ 29,353,767 669 • To read more about the Mayor’s Housing Covenant please visitwww.london.gov.uk/housingcovenant