Calderdale Council is a step closer to transforming an unused site in Halifax into new affordable housing, as well as apartments where people are supported between leaving hospital and returning home.
The Heatherstones site in Skircoat Green, owned by Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust (CHFT), currently has 13 empty terraced houses and eight unused apartments.
On Monday 8 April 2013, Cabinet agreed to make the following recommendations to full Council:
- To support the purchase of the site from CHFT
- To redevelop the apartments and lease them from Connect Housing
- To work with health organisations to deliver services at Heatherstones to reduce hospital stays and care home admissions and facilitate wellbeing
Full Council will meet on Wednesday 24 April 2013 to discuss these recommendations.
When people are ready to leave hospital, they are sometimes not confident or well enough to go back home, but they might not need the high level of care offered in hospital or a care home. The Heatherstones apartments would give people a safe and accessible place to recover before returning home, in maximum privacy. Care, support and housing advice would be provided on site to suit the needs of the individual, to help them regain full confidence and independence.
This would help reduce the number of long-term care places and would free up hospital beds for people who need them most. It would also allow vulnerable people to continue to be an active part of the community.
Calderdale Council has worked with other organisations to draw up the proposals for the site, and further consultation is to be carried out with Council staff, CHFT staff and patients about the design of the apartments and to make sure the right care and support are provided.
The Council is also working with CHFT and Connect Housing, a Registered Provider of affordable housing, on the proposal to refurbish the 13 empty houses at Heatherstones to bring them back into use as homes for rent. The site has been empty since 2009 and there are currently few affordable homes in the Skircoat Green area. Heatherstones is conveniently located close to Halifax town centre, transport links, Calderdale Royal Hospital and local amenities.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment, Cllr Barry Collins, said:
” The Council is working hard to tackle the problem of empty homes in Calderdale. It is essential that as many properties as possible are brought back into use. We recognise that the Heatherstones site shouldn’t be left unused it offers a real chance for people to rent houses in a great location at an affordable rate.”
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Social Care, Cllr Bob Metcalfe, added:
” Redeveloping the Heatherstones apartments is a fantastic opportunity to help people avoid long hospital stays and having to go into care homes. It would support people to get well quickly and remain independent whilst being an active part of their community for as long as possible.”