Promoting independent living by creating specialist accommodation in Winnersh

Around 20 residents with additional support needs will soon be moving into brand new specialist accommodation at the Hatch Farm development in Winnersh provided by Loddon Homes in partnership with Wokingham Borough Council and Persimmon Homes

Housing plays a huge role in people’s lives and supporting vulnerable residents with a range of different housing options is a key priority within the council’s housing strategy.  The Hatch Farm scheme is part of a wider programme within the Borough to develop more suitable, fit for purpose, affordable homes for local residents with specialist housing needs.

The council’s vision is to provide these local residents and their carers with appropriate support that prevents, reduces, or delays the need for ongoing care, while giving them choice of where and who they live with. This is key as it makes such a positive difference to their lives and maximises their wellbeing and independence.

These two bungalows and 14 apartments have been built by Persimmon Homes as part of their larger Hatch Farm development and will be owned and managed by Loddon Homes, the council’s wholly owned housing association.  Loddon Homes has a strong local reputation for providing high quality affordable homes that are efficiently managed and maintained whilst at the same time supporting the council to invest back into local communities across the Borough.

As well as the excitement of moving into a brand-new suitable home, residents will also be able to receive the right care and support to meet their needs, provided by the council’s social care company Optalis.  By moving away from private rental and expensive residential care, this innovative scheme helps reduces council costs, as well as overall spend, rent and day to day living costs for the individuals.

Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services, said: “Our aim is to increase the opportunities for all vulnerable adults to live independently within our community. It is important we are able to offer accommodation that is fit for purpose, modern, safe, and affordable while also taking into account the needs of our residents.

“The places we live in have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing, and if the homes we offer to people are unsuitable for them and fail to provide facilities to support independence or long-term provision it can have a negative impact on our customers and result in higher costs.”

Cllr John Kaiser, executive member for finance and housing, said: “We know these new homes will make such a different to the lives of local people. We are committed to ensuring there is a range of accommodation options to allow people to continue to live in the community and provide housing that is built for the future, taking into account disabilities and meeting specialist needs”

Cllr Shahid Younis, chair of Loddon Homes, said: “As a Council owned Registered Provider Loddon Homes is fortunate in that its business model can flex to enable us to prioritise and purchase supported living schemes such as Hatch Farm. This type of housing is in such high demand, and we are proud that we can work with local and national builders such as Persimmon to meet this need”.

David Birch, chief executive of Optalis, said: “We believe in the importance of giving everyone, regardless of their circumstances, the opportunity to live happy, independent and safe lives.  My team and I are delighted to be so closely involved in this impressive new development.  We are looking forward with real enthusiasm to working with each person who is moving to Hatch Farm to give them the best possible care and support in their new homes.”