New supported housing scheme opening in Oxford

People with a range of learning disabilities are set to benefit from the completion of a new block of supported housing in Islip Road, Oxford.

Supported housing schemes such as this can be designed for those with learning disabilities so that they can live independently rent or buy their own home but at the same time have access to round-the-clock support.

The Hope House development was built by housing and support provider Advance who are based in Witney.

The new property consists of 10 flats accommodating 15 people in total, six self-contained 1 bed flats, three 2 bed flats and one 3 bed flat. In addition there are communal facilities and a small staff accommodation/office.

The scheme is designed to accommodate a wide range of needs for people with learning disabilities and consequently it is flexible and spacious throughout. It has a lift, wider doorways to accommodate wheelchairs and underfloor heating to provide a constant temperature throughout.

The £1.9m project came about due to the need to find a replacement for the Advance care home on Islip Rd, Oxford. This was a registered care home for ten people with learning disabilities which no longer met customers’ needs.

Following extensive consultations with residents and their family members it was agreed to relocate the residents to a new service, Hope House, which could offer supported living giving residents security of tenure and independence.

Support at the scheme is provided by Real Life Options who were appointed by the County Council shortly before the building opened.

Track record

Councillor Lawrie Stratford, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “We’ve a strong track record of creating supported housing including extra care housing in Oxfordshire, working with the district councils and housing providers.

“Many years ago Supported Housing and extra care housing did not exist to any great degree and the choice was between people staying in their own home or going in to a care home. Supported housing offers the best of both worlds and we’re proud that it is such an encouraging feature of life now in the county.

“As is the case in so many other locations in Oxfordshire, people can live in their own apartment, enjoy a level of independence but still receive personal care and practical support from care staff who are on site at all times. I look forward to seeing Hope House thrive.”

Advance Chief Executive Julie Layton said: “We are so pleased to open this new development, which will not only provide comfortable housing for our current customers relocating from their previous home, but will also cater for people with more complex needs.

“This is made possible by working with our partners to ensure that the development is future proof and built to `lifetime homes standards’.”

The name of the scheme, Hope House, was chosen by Advance’s former CEO, Stuart Rigg who retired following a stroke in 2010. The name is symbolic of his attitude to recovery and a message of encouragement to all who face their own physical and psychological challenges.