Independent living in the heart of Wallingford through extra care housing

A new housing complex has officially opened in the heart of Wallingford, welcoming new residents looking for independent living with the reassurance of onsite care when needed.

Frances Curtis Court has been developed by Soha Housing, providing 75 new apartments for people over the age of 55. Oxfordshire County Council is able to support applications from people with eligible care and affordable housing needs to move into the development.

Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “Retirement living – or extra care housing as it’s sometimes called – offers independent, social living alongside the reassurance of onsite care.

“As a council, we work closely with housing providers like Soha to offer a range of supported living options across the county, which play a key part in our Oxfordshire Way vision to support residents to live well and independently within their own communities for as long as possible.”

Like all extra care housing complexes, Frances Curtis Court offers more than just a place to live. Alongside the new apartments, the scheme has a meeting room, a multi-purpose hobby room, a hairdressing salon and therapy facilities.

There is also a café run by local care providers Style Acre, serving homemade cakes and drinks three days a week.

The accommodation at Frances Curtis Court is managed by Soha and residents with additional care needs can be supported through the day and night by the onsite care provider All Care Ltd. The company provides assistance to those with established needs but also peace of mind for others, with emergency lines fitted in all the flats, providing all residents with security and reassurance.

Private buyers can contact Soha directly to express their interest in a property. But Oxfordshire County Council can help people who meet certain eligibility criteria to move into extra care housing through schemes that offer affordable rental agreements across the county.

Who can apply through the council?

Successful applicants are generally over 55 years old and have had a care act assessment through the council that records their personal support needs.

They also need to be eligible for affordable housing. This criteria changes depending on where the person is applying:

·       In Cherwell, Vale of White Horse, South and West Oxfordshire a person will need to have less than £60,000 in income or personal funds.

·       For Oxford City, the threshold is £16,000.

·       In all areas, an applicant needs to demonstrate a local connection to the area, for example, having a close family member living nearby.

There are a number of different extra care housing developments in all parts of Oxfordshire, each offering their own unique atmosphere. From bungalows to flats, rural or urban locations or places with more specialised care.

People already in receipt of council funded care, and their families, can speak to their social worker or occupational therapist about the options available. More information about extra care housing, including a list of developments in Oxfordshire, can be found on the county council’s webpages.

Cllr Bearder added: “Going forward, we are keen to improve coordination between the city and districts to ensure that adequate need for this kind of provision is reflected in their local plans that determine the housing mix for the future. At the moment Oxfordshire has too many residential care homes, which can be right for some, but aren’t the best option for many.” 

For those interested in moving into retirement living extra care housing through market sale or shared ownership, contact the relevant housing provider direct.

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