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24 September 2014, 08:27
The first residents have just moved into Reading's first new council homes for 25 years.
Cedar Court - the brand new extra care housing in Basingstoke Road - will provide high quality accommodation and wider facilities for older people living in the local area.
The 40-unit scheme has been built on the site of the former Avenue School. It comprises 27 one-bedroom flats and 13 two-bedroom flats, all for social rent.
This scheme was jointly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Reading Borough Council. The HCA has contributed more than £3m in funding support toward the building of the new homes.
The building has full lift access to all floors and is designed to be fully accessible to wheelchair-users. There is a café/restaurant, an outside patio deck and hairdressers, which residents and older people in the neighbourhood are welcome to use. Other facilities include a treatment suite, hobby rooms, a small shop, a roof terrace and a garden for residents.
The four-storey scheme has been built by developers Willmott Dixon Construction Limited.
It has been designed to enable older people to live at home longer with support.
It will also meet high renewable energy standards, through the use of biomass boilers and recycling and composting facilities.
Extra care housing increases the quality and choice of accommodation with care for older people. It offers an alternative to residential care with 24-hour flexible care and on-site support. It offers greater independence at a lower cost for many frail elderly people and some older people with dementia.
Richard Davies, Lead Councillor for Housing, said: "I am delighted that Cedar Court is opening - a really wonderful building with great facilities that I'm sure residents will enjoy. This is the first new council housing to be opened in Reading in 25 years and there is more to come."
Rachel Eden, Lead Councillor for Adult Social Care, said: "The Residents of Cedar Court will be able to combine independence and a fulfilling, active life with support as and when they need it. It's the sort of place I would like to grow older in and I know that the facilities and activities on offer will also be of great benefit to other older people living in the area."
Peter Jones, HCA head of area, added: "If we are to help communities build the homes they need, it is essential that housing for older people is provided as part of this effort.
"We know how important developments such as Cedar Court are in places like Reading, and that's why we have supported this development with investment to help make it happen. This is a great example of what can be achieved and I congratulate partners and colleagues for working hard to make this happen."