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Housing development gives new lease of life to Staffordshire’s ageing population

Staffordshire’s ageing population is set to benefit from a much-needed £8.3million older people’s housing development.

Cherry Tree Court, in Essington, is a 66-home extra care scheme for people over 55, which is being built by affordable housing developer Housing Plus.

The doors have been opened to a showhome, which is the first apartment to be completed at the extra care scheme, for older people to see the high standard of future supported living for the county’s ageing population. 

County Councillor Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire’s Cabinet Member for Adult Wellbeing, was joined by the regional head of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) Paul Spooner, to mark the opening of the showhome.

Mr Ellis said: “This is another tremendous example of Housing Plus working together with the County Council to provide much needed extra care housing across Staffordshire. Supported living helps people remain independent. It makes a real difference for individuals’ quality of life and also helps to combat the financial challenges an ageing population brings to public finances. This type of joint collaboration was recognised in last week’s cross party Parliamentary Report which states that Staffordshire’s approach to supported living leads the way nationally.” 

Stafford-based Housing Plus has built 66 extra care apartments, which will include offering residents care and support services from Care Plus, including a team of on-site staff who will work to understand residents’ needs and will help provide an ongoing support programme. 

Eighty-seven-year-old Leonora Pitt is one of the first people to reserve one of the new apartments. She visited the new showhome with her son Don to look at where she will be moving to. 

Leonora said: “It feels like I’m getting a new lease of life moving here. It feels quite isolated in the flats where I am at the moment so I’m looking forward to having others around me for company.

“I was surprised by the size of the flats. They’re very spacious and the showhome is lovely so I can’t wait to move in.” 

Her son Don, who lives in Essington, added: “It’s going to give us great peace of mind that mum will have 24 hour care and that we can increase the level of care as she needs it. She is still very independent and active but we know that the option’s there should we need it.” 

Housing Plus stepped in to rescue the site when building work by a private housebuilder stopped due to the recession. Thanks to £4.8million of funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Housing Plus took on the development and boosted affordable housing in the region. 

Debbie Griffiths, chief executive of Housing Plus, said: “The Cherry Tree Court independent living scheme will meet a range of housing and support needs for older people with a high quality building and flexible on-site care that is tailored around people’s changing needs. We are committed to providing high quality housing to for South Staffordshire’s ageing population and provide a range of care and support to meet people’s individual requirements.” 

Anyone interested in visiting the showhome or finding out more about the extra care apartments should call 0800 096 8690.

First residents at Cherry Tree Court