Today marked the official opening of Fosters, an independent living scheme for older people in Woodley.
This scheme built by Wokingham Borough Council owned development company Wokingham Housing (WHL) forms a corner stone of the Council’s commitment to providing the very best living options for older people in the Borough.
The unveiling of Fosters was carried out by the Worshipful Mayor of Wokingham Borough Councillor John Kaiser. Councillor Kaiser has a particular interest in the scheme as a sitting Non-Executive Director on the Board of Loddon Homes who now own the development and is landlord to the new residents living at Fosters. Councillor Kaiser was joined by representatives from across the Council, WHL, Homes England, Loddon Homes and Optalis who are care provider for the scheme.
Fosters, was made possible due to a £1.5million Homes England grant from the Care and Support Specialist Housing Fund. This grant, as well as funds from private developers in lieu of providing affordable housing on their sites (commuted sums), along with loan funding taken out by Loddon Homes, enabled WHL to build this development of 34 one bed affordable rent apartments. Each apartment has a double bedroom, an open plan kitchen and living area, en-suite wet rooms and a private terrace or balcony; as well as access to all the communal facilities, including two lounges, a restaurant and lovely landscaped gardens.
Following the opening Councillor Kaiser was invited into the home of Rita Sheppard who was one of the first tenants to move into Fosters. Rita requested a move to Fosters from her previous tenancy because she was aware that over the coming years she would need additional care support to maintain her independence for as long as possible. Speaking about her new home at Fosters Rita commented “I couldn’t have wished for anything more from Fosters. All the staff, be that from Optalis, the on-site restaurant team or the Council’s housing team, have all been so helpful and caring. The décor is fabulous and I am delighted to have a balcony to enjoy the outside space. Having the peace of mind of knowing that the support at Fosters can change as my needs do, is very reassuring.”
After meeting with Rita and following a tour of the scheme Councillor Kaiser said “I was delighted to meet with Rita and see her actually living in her home. It is only when you meet residents like Rita face to face that you get to see the real positive impact schemes like Fosters can have on an individual.
It gives me great pleasure to officially open Fosters. This marks a milestone achievement for the borough council, and its companies Wokingham Housing and Loddon Homes. This has all been possible by us coming together and working hard – Fosters is the fruit of that collaboration. Good living options for an increasing older population is a national problem and through delivering schemes like Fosters, borough residents can be reassured that the Council, along with our wholly owned housing companies, are taking the right steps towards providing positive choices for our residents.”
You can find out more about Fosters and all schemes being delivered by Loddon Homes by visiting www.loddonhomes.co.uk or telephone 0118 908 8479.