Fri 15 July 2016, 3:25 pm
An extra care scheme in Waltham Forest has won recognition for its innovative approach to housing for people aged over 55.
Centra Care and Support, part of Circle Housing, won a ‘HAPPI’ (Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation) award on 11 July at the UK’s Housing Design Awards.
The scheme, which was designed by architect PRP, was praised for the “layout’s skill in exploiting access and exposure to panoramic views”, as well as “the carefully designed recessed flat entrances that provide dignified thresholds for each home”. Apartments also have balcones and gardens.
Presenting the award, Jeremy Porteus, director for housing, learning and improvement network at the Housing Learning and Improvement Network, said: “If you happen to have an ageing relative you love in the Chingford area, you couldn’t do better for them than point them towards the delightful Windmill Court extra care facility.”
Philip Browne, director of development for Circle Housing, spoke of the ambition of the scheme: to not just meet the needs of an ageing population but create a place where people aspire to live.
Circle Housing has also recently converted a derelict garage site in Walthamstow into 10 homes in partnership with a group of families in the area.
These residents had previously been living in overcrowded accommodation, and faced a 10-year wait on the housing waiting list for a family home, before working with Circle Housing to create their own self-built community.
The structural work was completed by local builders Kind & Company, before the residents spent a year carrying out work in their spare time on the internal aspects of the homes – from fitting the kitchens to tiling.
John Struthers approached Circle Housing in 2009 with a ‘build to rent’ plan after recruiting local families to the project. He said: “I can honestly say the families that took part in this project have no regrets. It's amazing to see the growth in confidence in the group members over this time period.
“It brings tears to my eyes when I see how each and every one of them takes pride in their homes and what they have achieved for their families. This journey has not only enabled me to help build a house, but also a home for my children set within a beautiful community.”
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