'Care' homes for elderly to replace eyesore flats blocks

A SITE once occupied by eyesore blocks of flats in Hull looks set to become "extra care" flats for older people and those with disabilities.

Hull Council is developing three sites in the city, including the area once occupied by the Homethorpe tower blocks on the Orchard Park estate, on the back of 43m private finance credits.

At a meeting next Wednesday councillors are being asked to approve plans for a four-storey building of 60 two-bedroom flats, and a separate application for a similar building on the site of the Holden Centre in east Hull, once a day centre, which was damaged in the floods in 2007.

Another 100 flats will be provided in Hawthorn Avenue.

The schemes provide modern purpose-built housing, with round-the-clock access to care and support and the latest technology to allow pensioners, as well as people with dementia and learning and physical disabilities, greater independence.

Unlike traditional residential care, householders keep their own front doors. All the homes would be for rent. The scheme is being financed by the much-criticised private finance initiative, with the taxpayer paying off the "mortgage" over 30 years.

Assistant head of care and housing at Hull Council Mariette Glover said people living in the vicinity of the new schemes would benefit.

She added: "The only people who won't be able to stay there at the moment are people who need 24-hour nursing care, but in the future as community nursing care develops we expect those people to be also able to stay in their own home."

Currently, the city's only "extra care" facility is Grove House, on Beverley Road.

Cases of dementia are expected to increase from around 700,000 in Britain now to 940,110 by 2021.