Last December the multi-million pound, extra care housing scheme, Wharfedale View in Yeadon, was completed. Last Friday it was officially opened by Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council. The development – a mix of apartments for rent, for sale with shared ownership – is a flagship scheme, a first of its kind. It offers ‘extra care housing’, designed to help people stay independent in retirement with flexible 24/7 care as well as communal facilities. Its innovative nature has been recognized in short-listing for a RICS award.

The scheme is owned and managed by Leeds City Council. It includes 45 self-contained apartments (18 one bedroom and 27 two bedroom apartments). Each has its own front door and its own kitchen and bathroom so that residents can live independently, but with access to an assessed level of care dependent on their individual need. People will be able to choose how they want to be supported as their care needs change in a safe environment.

Leeds Labour Leader Judith Blake and Cllr Richard Lewis at the opening of Wharfedale View
Leeds Labour Leader Judith Blake and Cllr Richard Lewis at the opening of Wharfedale View

This is housing and care such as we’d all like to think was available for our needs. There is health and care provision, provided by Care Quality Commission registered Roche health care, but also organised activities in the scheme’s communal areas – even a hair salon on site. There’s recognition that people want to entertain family and friends – cooking in their own kitchens, or eating out and socialising in the restaurant run by the council’s Civic Enterprise Leeds.

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Labour’s executive member for Health, Wellbeing and Adults, recognizes that this is just the sort of facility increasing numbers of people want:
“We know that more and more people want the type of community based housing – with support – which this fantastic new facility can provide. The desire to remain living independently continues to strengthen and people’s aspirations regarding their care and support needs change over time.
‘The Council has responded to this demand with flagship care facilities such as Wharfedale View, thus ensuring we can help local people live at home for longer with the right care and help they need at different times in their lives.
“This is about giving people the choice and control over their own care, as well as highlighting a real commitment from the council to investing and looking after older people in the city, providing them with the opportunity to live their lives independently and with the dignity they deserve”.

Councillor Debra Coupar, executive member for Communities, said:
“Ensuring we have purpose built, accessible accommodation that meets the needs of our older generation allows us to support individuals that choose to live in these fantastic places.”
And she can see the potential spin offs “It also potentially frees up much needed council homes for other families.”
“Wharfedale View is a fantastic addition to the provision of housing for older people in the city, and a brilliant example of how the council is planning for future generations; delivering solutions for people with a diverse range of needs. The project demonstrates what the council can do, starting from scratch to produce an innovative scheme such as this.”

It’s certainly a development to be proud of – and we’re not the only ones who think that.
The development has been shortlisted for the RICS [Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors] awards in Yorkshire and Humber – in the Residential Category. http://www.rics.org/uk/training-events/awards/rics-awards-yorkshire/

This is what Labour Local Government can do. We just need the government to take local government finance and funding seriously – and we’ll get on with the job.

http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Wharfedale-View.aspx
for more information on the scheme

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