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ForViva invest £12.4m in extra homes for Merseyside’s Stockbridge Village

Housing group ForViva is to invest £12.4 million in a new extra care facility in Merseyside.

The scheme proposes 90 new properties, including 64 extra care homes and 26 bungalows, at The Withens development in Stockbridge Village.

These would be first new build homes on the Stockbridge estate in 10 years, the organisation said, and bring “much needed” supported housing for some of the area’s elderly and vulnerable customers.

Colette McKune, ForViva’s deputy chief executive, said: “We are proud to be bringing forward the first development in Stockbridge in nearly a decade, and delivering the kind of supported housing that offers a lifeline for vulnerable people living in the community who want to continue to live independent lives.”

ForViva, which owns and manages 18,000 homes across the North West, has committed to build the state-of-the-art facility despite uncertainty caused by the ongoing Government review into funding for supported housing.

Knowsley Council says it expects a significant rise in the numbers of older people living in the area by 2021, with an increase of more than 1,000 residents aged 90 or above, while the Knowsley Joint Health & Wellbeing Strategy has reported an increase in dementia due to its aging population.

The council has stated that more specialist accommodation like The Withens will be crucial in ensuring elderly and vulnerable residents can access the support and quality of accommodation they need.

McKune added: “Proposed changes to how the government funds supported housing has made it increasingly difficult to get schemes like The Withens off the ground.

“However, thanks to financial backing from ForViva and close partnership working with both the Council and our development partners, we are able to move forward with this development.”

Mark Butterworth, Knowsley Council’s assistant chief executive, said: “I’m delighted that the extra care scheme in Stockbridge Village is progressing, as it will provide high quality accommodation to meet both demand and the needs of our residents.

“This latest development will complement a number of other high quality extra care schemes in Halewood, Huyton, and Kirkby, and a further development is also nearing completion in Prescot. This latest development supports the Council’s efforts to ensure that services, choice and independence is available for older people.

“The new homes and bungalows being produced across Knowsley will provide residents with the benefits of personal space and independence, whilst also having the reassurance and sense of community that comes with shared spaces and assistance when needed.”

The scheme has been designed in partnership with local residents, businesses and stakeholders, and can cater for vulnerable residents with a variety of needs, with adaptable living spaces and round the clock support.

Apartments in the facility will be available for affordable rent, with the one and two bedroom bungalows on the site available for shared ownership.

Work will commence in August 2017, with completion of the facility and bungalows ear-marked for January 2019.

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