An innovative purpose-built housing scheme in Bury for over-55s to buy or rent is now completed.
Clarence Gardens, in Danesmoor Drive in Bury, is the brainchild of St Vincent’s Housing Association and Bury Council, and is their first ‘Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation’ (HAPPI) scheme. The scheme was visited by David Nuttall, MP for Bury North, who met a number of new tenants and owner occupiers and took a tour of the new facilities.
The scheme came about following an invitation to bid from the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency in December 2012. A new pot of money was being offered by the Department of Health for innovative schemes with enhanced design features for older people and those requiring specialist accommodation.
HAPPI schemes particularly recognise the spectrum of needs required in older persons’ housing, and offer an attractive alternative to the traditional family home. The space is designed to adapt over time to meet the changing needs of the occupants. HAPPI schemes are based on ten key design principles which recognise good light, ventilation, room to move around and good storage. The HAPPI principles were launched by the Government in 2012 and are seen as a way to house an ageing population.
Clarence Gardens provides 12 one-bedroom apartments, four two-bedroom apartments and three two-bedroom bungalows for shared ownership. The total scheme costs were £2.7m with grant funding of £525k. The contractor was Kier Living Ltd, the architects were Jennings Design Associates and the employers agents were Pennington Choices Ltd.
Charlie Norman, chief executive for St Vincent’s Housing Association, said:“The needs of older people in the community have changed and we want to reflect this with a fresh approach to design. I hope all the new residents have settled in well and are enjoying their new homes. Of course, the proposed local housing allowance cap could jeopardise schemes like this in the future so it’s important we can showcase just how valuable these schemes are, particularly as we are all living longer and, hopefully, healthier lives.”
Councillor Sandra Walmsley, Bury Council’s cabinet member for strategic housing and support services, said:“This is a fantastic project which the council is proud to be fully behind. St Vincent’s are building top quality, affordable accommodation with services and amenities close by, and I am sure this will be hugely popular among over-55s”.