New development for Kirkriggs Court

ANGUS could soon benefit from additional supported housing units at Kirkriggs Court in Forfar and Andy Stewart Court in Arbroath.

The local authority has put forward proposals which could provide more supported housing for the elderly and those with learning disabilities in the county.

In a report to the social work and health committee and the neighbourhood services committee, directors Robert Peat and Ron Ashton have put forward their proposals for the £1.691 million allocated to Angus from the Scottish Government’s Reshaping Care for Older People Change Fund.

The report said: “The Angus proposal is based on accelerating a number of strands of the Council’s Community Care Change Programme and Angus Community Health Partnership’s (CHP’s) Community Medicine and Rehabilitation Redesign, particularly in areas of convergence between these programmes.

“A key strand of the proposal was to invest £600,000 in the re-provisioning of one or more sheltered housing schemes within Angus to offer a home for life for people with higher care needs who would otherwise have been placed in a mainstream residential care home setting.”

Supported housing is described as providing the appropriate communal facilities to enable 24/7 onsite housing support and social care for the tenants.

The report said: “As well as offering better outcomes for service users this housing based solution for people with high care needs contributes to shifting the balance of care from residential care and offers cost efficiencies to the council.”

It continues: “The council has adopted a policy of expanding supported housing provision with a view to reducing as much as possible the use of mainstream residential care.

“It is hoped that this will act as a stimulus to housing providers and developers, as well as operators, of residential care homes in Angus, to identify opportunities for re-provision existing housing stock to make it suitable as supported housing, or to develop new housing suitable for this model of care at home.”

The £600,000 will be split three ways with £200,000 apiece going to the developments in Forfar and Arbroath while a further £200,000 will go towards meeting the anticipated transitional revenue costs for the projects.

In Forfar the scheme consists of three residential blocks of two storeys and a Victorian villa converted into four flats. The blocks are connected with covered walkways and there is a large communal lounge and other facilities in the center of the site.

The report said: “Under the re-provisioning proposal, two of the blocks along with the communal facilities would be redeveloped as supported housing for older people. This will require significant re-configuration and upgrading of the flats as they become vacant and improved and expanded communal facilities.

“Kirkriggs Court is already home to a small number of adults with learning disabilities. The Learning Disabilities Redesign identified a need for additional supported tenancies for adults with learning disabilities over the next few years. It is proposed that the remaining block of 12 flats is re-provisioned to provide supported housing for this care group.

“The flats within the Victorian villa are not considered suitable for use as supported housing. Trust Housing Association propose that three of the four upper flats will be let as mainstream housing as they become vacant. Once the remaining ground floor flat becomes vacant it will form part of the enhanced communal facilities.

“It is propsed that the provision of onsite 24/7 care and support will be provided by Social Work and Health.”

The report concluded: “The development of supported housing at Andy Stewart Court and Kirkriggs Court will enable the council to accelerate its programme to shift the balance of care from residential care to care at home.

“The provision of a new model of supported housing will offer greater independence and choice, and better outcomes for service users.”