Alpha has started a five-year improvement programme which will see the proportion of bedsits reduce through building extensions on to some developments. We are also talking to local authority partners about developing new build accommodation to provide much-needed high quality housing for older people.
High quality sheltered accommodation helps people to live independently for longer and increases their quality of life. Sheltered accommodation provides friendship, support and plenty of opportunities for social activity and security.
Alpha has started the journey of developing sheltered accommodation for the 21st Century - accommodation which could cater more flexibly for older people as their needs change.
We have completely revised our Business Plan to support a larger and accelerated improvement programme, and in May 2016 put an £11m facility in place with our funders, Lloyds Bank.
Following many months of consultation, planning and decision making, Alpha started work on a £3m overhaul of Saxon Court in St Helens in August 2016 - this is our first major development under this investment programme.
St Helen’s Council and the Homes and Communities Agency have warmly supported the project proposals which will convert the majority of the site from studios to extended one bedroom apartments including six new build flats using the Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) principles of design where appropriate.
Alpha was the first provider in the country to draw down funding under the Homes and Communities Shared Ownership and Affordable Housing Programme. The Homes and Communities Agency will provide a grant of £340,000 to help us meet the needs of existing residents and the local community.
The work is set to finish in March 2018 and will provide new heating systems, wet rooms throughout, new kitchens, fire alarms and warden call systems, with many apartments being extended with Juliet balconies as well as additional facilities such as a hairdressing salon which will be available to the community.
We will work to make each Alpha development the best it can be. Value for money is important. Spending wisely and constantly challenging ourselves to use resources efficiently means more money to invest in Alpha properties and services.