Sheltered Housing
Between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2015:

Following the completion of the review into our sheltered housing that was completed the previous year, a decision was made to close three schemes completely and partially close two others. As a result there were 76 tenants living in these affected schemes who needed alternative homes. We have worked closely with these tenants and during the year 50 have moved into new homes

For homes that became empty as a result, we started a partnership with social enterprise Dot Dot Dot who find suitable property guardians to look after empty homes while we work up plans for their future. This initiative is working really well, with tenants commenting on how they enjoy the company. Property guardians also commit to volunteering in the local area and have already spent more than 100 hours with local organisations

Between January and March 2015, Buckinghamshire County Council carried out a consultation with tenants living in our sheltered housing about the support services they receive. They held consultation meetings at most of our schemes to discuss their proposals for the support services they fund and the new type of service they want to introduce later this year.
As their funding is being reduced they want to provide support in a different way and wanted to discuss their proposals for the service with our tenants and establish their views. Over 400 of our tenants attended these meetings and were provided with a survey to complete. Once the consultation was finished, they shared the outcome, which can be read here

A total of £48,083 was spent by tenants at our sheltered schemes from their scheme budgets. Each scheme receives a sum of £50 per tenanted home to spend on things that will improve the scheme and the quality of life for the residents. The idea is to bring communities together and use the money for the benefit of all the residents. 14 of our sheltered schemes formed committees to manage their budget and their bank accounts while 18 carried out their own consultations but had their budgets managed by us. There were seven schemes that did not spend any of their money during the year

Some examples of the things that have been purchased include key safes, improvements to communal gardens, garden furniture and going on day trips

Helping 50 tenants move into new homes of their choice, which went really well and for which we got some great feedback

Helping tenants to use their budgets and buy things that improve their lives

Staying in regular contact with people about the changes taking place to the support services they receive

Staying in touch with the Bucks County Council changes and continue to support our customers

Looking at ways of encouraging social activities in schemes and how communities can support themselves

Working with our volunteers to engage with sheltered tenants and encourage them to get involved

After transferring the Community Call Service to Tunstall Response, we have been able to reduce the cost of providing the service so there is more money to invest elsewhere in sheltered housing

Converting empty bedsits in our sheltered schemes means that we have more suitable homes available for those who need them, bringing in more rental income to invest in our homes.

Jonathan Walton

“The last 12 months have seen lots of changes for our sheltered housing tenants. I am pleased to have been able to represent them, as a tenant myself, on the sheltered housing review group which made decisions and recommendations to the Board about the future of our schemes. My main concern at all times, as a member of the group, was to make sure that the welfare of affected tenants was top priority. I am reassured that the schemes that have been closed as a result of the review were the ones which were not economical to renovate and bring up to modern day standards for reasons such as not being able to install a lift. We have made sure that tenants were never left out of the loop as they were consulted throughout and given as many choices as possible to ensure that those who had to move, were offered somewhere suitable for their needs and a new home they were happy with. As a volunteer, I have got the sense of achievement that I have helped to secure the best possible outcome for those affected by the changes. For me it has made volunteering for Red Kite a very worthwhile and productive experience”.

Click to return