Council commits to 3500 Extra Care units by 2025

As part of a plan to help older people and those in need of care live independent and healthier lives for longer, Cornwall Council has announced it will create 3,500 ‘Extra Care’ housing units across the county.

The move will also help reduce pressure on an adult social care system that only last week was described as being at breaking point nationally by Local Government Association.

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Cornwall Council Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Adults Rob Rotchell said: “These will be self-contained homes with their own front doors where people have access to care and support when they need it. People often think about downsizing their homes as they get older so Extra Care is an attractive option when planning for possible care and support needs in the future.

“Evidence shows that helping people to live independently for longer in homes like these, often closer to their family and friends, leads to healthier and happier lives. This in turn reduces their need to use health and social care services, alleviating demand on already stretched services.”

The Council has a mixed approach to developing the 3500 units, looking at remodelling existing buildings which are no longer fit for purpose and at how they could develop where the market is less responsive. To get things started they are looking to recruit a strategic partner to develop an initial 750 units across towns in Cornwall. 

The numbers of people across Cornwall aged 65 and over in Cornwall is predicted to increase by 78% by 2030. (population figures taken from poppi.org.uk). Taking this into account, alongside an increase in illness and disability, it means that more people will require care and support services. It is a priority for Cabinet to see a wide range of Extra Care housing developed that is affordable for all.

At an event hosted by Cornwall Council at St Austell Conference Centre on 9 August 2018, housing companies, care providers and property developers were invited to learn more about Extra Care housing options - the sorts of facilities they are and how they are funded. The event is the beginning of the conversation to test the proposals before a formal selection process for a strategic partner begins in Autumn.