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Forward Funding of Extra Care and Learning Disabilities project at Harwich

  • Freehold acquisition of 58 Extra Care apartments and 12 learning disability apartments
  • Completed November 2016
  • New lease between FAH and One Housing Group
  • Nominations agreement with Essex County Council
  • High social value delivery

Deal summary

  • Freehold acquisition through a forward funding transaction of the freehold of an Extra Care and learning disabilities project at Harwich, in the county of Essex a short distance to the North and East of London.
  • This was the first project resulting from a funding and partnering agreement with Ashley House.
  • Construction was completed in November 2016 with first residents arriving in January 2017.
  • The development comprises two main structures, the one shown above providing 58 Extra Care one and two‐bed apartments and the other providing 12 one-bed for individuals with learning disabilities.
  • The location is in an existing residential area with easy access to shops and transport facilities, including a bus stop on the boundary of the site.
  • The project is in partnership with One Housing Group, a Registered Provider who has a large portfolio of elderly care projects. One Housing Group have entered into a 35 year lease to provide housing management and oversee the provision of care services. This is in line with the FAH approach of separating asset ownership and service delivery.
  • Strong support from Essex County Council who have responsibility for elderly care and who have provided £2.3M of grant in return for long‐term nomination rights.
  • Provision of significant social benefit through the housing and care of people with vulnerabilities.

Background

The exclusive funding and partnering agreement signed by FAH with Ashley House Plc led to the Harwich project which was the first of what is expected to be a range of specialist housing schemes. The site is part of a former hospital which has been demolished and rebuilt as a smaller local health facility, this sits alongside our property. Recent reports for Essex County Council show a significant and increasing demand for elderly care. Building work was undertaken by a local contractor, EJ Taylor using a JCT Design & Build contract.

Social delivery

The project has delivered attractive, self‐contained housing that is designed to enable people to retain their independence. Accommodation is designed to Lifetime Home Standards, providing a flexible home for life that enables individuals’ to be supported as needs change. 24/7 care is available and support staff are on site. Residents will have their own front door, however, there is space for social activities, meal service and amenities such as a hair dresser.

A Nominations Panel has been established with representatives from Essex County Council and One Housing Group which is responsible for selecting residents. The flats are available to people aged 55 and over who have a connection to the local area. The pathways into the properties will vary. Some will be individuals currently living in residential care homes who would prefer to be in an independent, supported living environment, others will be individuals living in their own homes but with increasing care needs that are at a point where they recognise they would be better off moving to supported living. Some will be in social housing wishing to downsize, this provides the added benefit of freeing up affordable housing for others on the housing list.

Essex has an under‐provision of independent living accommodation compared to other local authority areas. The County Council commissioned a detailed study that found there were currently around 5,000 individuals aged 55+ on the social care register who had a care need of between 4 and 16 hours per week. The Council has set a target of making available 2,500 Independent Living units for social/affordable rent or affordable ownership by 2020.

Summary

The Project combines excellent social delivery with an expected robust financial outcome. FAH Service Company Limited engaged extensively with the delivery team for the project to strengthen the contractual arrangements and ensuring that the residents and One Housing Group are provided with a building that meets their needs and expectations.

It is intended that a regular dialogue will take place with One Housing Group to ensure that the social delivery envisaged by this Project is being achieved.