Bid to build 181 supported housing units set to get go-ahead

Bill Borrett, chairman of Norfolk County Council's adult social care committee. Picture: Matthew Ush

Bill Borrett, cabinet member for adult social care and public health - Credit: Matthew Usher

A multi million pound project to build 181 supported housing units to help people with disabilities live more independent lives is set to get the go-ahead.

Norfolk County Council is proposing to invest between £9m and £18m to develop supported, adapted and specialist housing over the next 10 years, to improve people’s lives, reduce hospital admissions and reduce care costs by an estimated £1.9m per year.

The investment, to be debated by the council’s cabinet committee on Monday, comes as the current care market is not developing this housing without support.

Norfolk makes higher use of residential care for people with learning disabilities, mental health problems and physical disabilities than other authorities. 

Bill Borrett, cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said: “We want to help people live more fulfilled, independent lives.

“I am really pleased that the council is investing all this money, developing more supported housing will help people with disabilities to be more independent in their own homes and see fewer people go into residential care.”

The types required are housing for those with complex needs, short-term accommodation for those who may need support to adjust to independent living and long-term supported accommodation.

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It will be discussed at Norfolk County Council's cabinet meeting on Monday, March 8.

Papers released ahead of the meeting say provision of appropriate supported, adapted and specialist housing in the county is low.

"Demand analysis has shown that as a result of population growth Norfolk will require 140 more supported housing units by 2031 and would need to reduce the number of people currently in residential care by over 250 to reach the national average for people with a learning disability, physical disability or mental health needs," it says.

Cabinet will be asked to agree to set up a housing programme to encourage and accelerate the delivery of supported housing, to fund programme costs of £108,000 per year and agree overall funding of between £9m and £18m for the duration.

As well as to cope with growth in demand, it's hoped the project will more closely align Norfolk with other local authorities in their use of residential care.

"The historic and continued pattern of placements means that Norfolk makes more use of residential care than comparator authorities, and as the current rate of admission remains higher this difference becomes greater," it says.

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