Council tenants discover new life at retirement village

By on 21/01/2010 in News

Great grandparents Joan and David Nixon are leaving their rented council home of 53 years to start a new life at Birmingham's first, flagship retirement village, thanks to a £5m grant awarded to the developers of the scheme, Midland Heart and the ExtraCare Charitable Trust by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Cllr Lines, Mrs Nixon, Mr Nixon and Paul Spooner

Cllr Lines, Mrs Nixon, Mr Nixon and Paul Spooner

The HCA grant will help fund some of the 104 affordable rented homes at the £37m New Oscott Village which opens this April.  Joan (84) and David (85) are the first of over 600 applicants to be offered one of the rented homes following significant demand amongst older residents (aged 55 to 95-plus) across the City.

New Oscott Village is the first of five proposed schemes across Birmingham as part of a £200m village development partnership between Birmingham City Council and the ExtraCare Charitable Trust.

Struggling to manage with stairs, routine maintenance and the garden at their three-bedroom council home in Kingstanding, the Nixons say the Village will provide security, care in the future and a sociable atmosphere.  The scheme's 18 health and leisure facilities will allow them to rekindle their woodwork, card-making and embroidery skills with opportunities for their grandchildren to join in too.

In common with all residents moving to the Village, the Nixons will be offered free health advice from an award-winning well-being service, complimentary membership of 'Friends' (a 300-member village social club) and specialist support from The ExtraCare Charitable Trust's  Benefits Advice Team. The team has already secured £150,000 in unclaimed allowances to help secure affordable places for future villagers.

Joan Nixon comments:  “We struggle with stairs and the house maintenance and it's not easy going out to fetch milk or bread – we certainly wouldn't go out at night.  In the Village we'll be looked after and can enjoy a more independent lifestyle because all of the facilities are under one roof with plenty of things to do.

“It's time to start a new life.  We like to think that our old home would provide a fresh start for a young family.”

Cllr Lines with Mr and Mrs Nixon

Cllr Lines with Mr and Mrs Nixon

Councillor John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing, comments:  “This is a wonderful time for Mr and Mrs Nixon who can look forward to starting a new phase of their lives at Birmingham's first retirement village – the first of many for our older citizens.  I'm glad that they can look to their futures with confidence and be secure in the knowledge that all needs can be met without them having to lose any of their independence. I wish them the very best.”  

Paul Spooner, Regional Director for the Homes and Communities Agency, comments: 
“We are delighted to see people like Joan and David benefitting from HCA investment and the New Oscott Village is a fantastic example of high quality supported housing, developed in partnership between a specialist provider, the local authority and HCA.”  

Nick Abbey, Chief Executive, The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, comments:  “Our Charity's ambition is to ensure that this Village delivers well-appointed homes and a fulfilling lifestyle for older people at an affordable cost.  The HCA and Birmingham City Council have provided invaluable support in helping us meet this objective.”

Ends

Notes for Editors
• The Village offers 260 homes for affordable rent, part-purchase and sale, surrounding a village centre which includes a fitness gym, restaurant/café, bar, shop, arts and crafts centre, village hall, I.T. suite, hairdressing salon, library, woodwork shop, well-being centre and greenhouse.
• Committed to supporting older peoples' health and well-being within an active and sociable environment, The Extracare Charitable Trust will deliver up to 24-hour assessed care support to village residents in their own home , ensuring couples can remain together without one partner moving into a traditional nursing or residential setting.
www.extracare.org.uk

Further information from Belinder Kaur Lidher on 0121 303 6969

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