A £14m Extra Care housing development is finally getting the go-ahead, after being put on hold because of the government’s benefits cap proposal.
The site on Keswick Close, Langley – initially shelved due to ministers’ plans to cap the amount of housing benefit people in supported housing could receive – has been cleared ready for building work, and, once completed, will boast 88 one- and two-bedroom apartments for affordable rent and 10 two-bedroom bungalows for shared ownership.
Housing association Riverside had been working with the local authority to bring the development back on the agenda after more than three years on hold.
The development benefits from £6.5m Homes England funding and will provide much-needed housing for older people in the area.
The project was put on hold in 2015 amid concerns that cuts would result in a 25% shortfall in benefits for residents to cover their rent and service charges.
The financial uncertainty created by the proposals affected supported housing providers nationwide. The government changed its plans last year for people living in schemes including Extra Care due to extensive opposition.
Alison Halstead, Riverside’s Head of Retirement Living, said: “We’re delighted that the Extra Care scheme, located off Keswick Close, Langley, has commenced, as it will provide a mixture of homes and specialist accommodation so people can continue to live independently.
“With an ageing demographic in the area, this development is a facility which will meet the housing requirements of the future, as well as supporting economic growth, regeneration and health and wellbeing.”
Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, cabinet member for adult care, added: “We’re thrilled that the Extra Care scheme has started on site, as it will perform a vital role in meeting current and future housing needs.
“Rochdale is committed to delivering on the principles of age-friendly development, ensuring a wide range of housing choice to promote well-being later in life.
“The new homes are a welcome addition to the Langley estate, and will be the latest project in a successful regeneration partnership between the Council and Riverside that goes back more than 15 years.”