Hft currently provides support for 33 learning disabled adults in a campus-style setting on the site where homes were clustered together in one place instead of being part of the local community. The redevelopment will see 12 of these new homes becoming accessible and adaptable supported living dwellings for people supported by Hft, enabling greater independence in their everyday lives.
“This landmark redevelopment enables Hft to transition from a residential to a supported living environment, which will enable us to deliver even better person-centred care and support,” says Kirsty Matthews, CEO of Hft.
“The original services were built in 1987 so the buildings are now dated and don’t offer as much independence to the people we currently support there,” Ms Matthews explains.
“These new supported living, accessible homes are in tune with our future strategic aims where we will work in partnership with learning disabled people to live where and how they choose within their local communities.
“Hft is striving to provide a fully inclusive environment that supports people to live as independently and safely as possible. Our interior design, including the use of colour, materials and products, will be dementia and autistic friendly, making these dwellings attractive, homely and practical for learning disabled people,” she adds.
“Hft’s future strategy points to us providing care and support in thriving, local community settings where the people in our care can live as independently, and with as much choice and control as possible.”
Following discussions with the current residents and their families about what they would like to see, the redevelopment will include fully accessible and sustainably designed houses and bungalows for learning disabled people, complete with shared communal spaces and kitchens, private gardens and parking.
“The Ironbridge development aims to enable a more independent life through greater choice and control, and help to build meaningful connections and relationships with other residents and the wider community,” says Ms Matthews.
One resident at the service says they are “excited” for the redevelopment, while another adds that they are looking forward to watching their new home being built from start to finish.
Hft’s ‘On your Doorstep’ day service has also been rolled out in Shropshire through this project. This is a new model of support that provides opportunities for learning disabled people to access community-led support and events where they are supported to access their local community based on their specific needs and wants.
The charity has worked with the Local Authority and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure the redevelopment aligned with their future commissioning strategies.
The development is also in line with Homes England’s strategic objectives of creating high-quality homes in well-designed places that reflect community priorities by taking an inclusive and long-term approach as well as supporting a housing sector that works for everyone, driving diversification, partnership working and innovation.
The dwellings will be at the forefront of energy efficiency and will have an EPC rating of A. They will feature the latest technology on renewables such as waste water recovery systems, PV panels on roofs and air source heat pumps.
The ground-breaking ceremony took place on 18 October. The first Hft supported living property will be completed in mid-2024 and the last one will be ready in February 2025.