Revamp of homes for adults with learning disabilities gets underway

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 23-Oct-2023

Hft and Lioncourt break ground on new development to build brighter, broader, future for adults with learning disabilities

Learning disability charity, Hft, is working in partnership with home builder, Lioncourt Homes, to redevelop a site in Ironbridge, Telford, supporting adults with additional needs.

Hft currently provides support for 33 learning disabled adults in a campus-style setting on the site where homes are clustered together in one place instead of being part of the local community.

Person-centred care

The redevelopment will see 12 of these new homes becoming accessible and adaptable supported living dwellings for people supported by Hft, enabling greater independence in their everyday lives.

“This landmark redevelopment enables Hft to transition from a residential to a supported living environment, which will enable us to deliver even better person-centred care and support,” says Kirsty Matthews, chief executive of Hft.

“The original services were built in 1987, so the buildings are now dated and don’t offer as much independence to the people we currently support there.

“These new supported living, accessible homes are in tune with our future strategic aims where we will work in partnership with learning disabled people to live where, and how, they choose within their local communities.”

She added: “Hft is striving to provide a fully-inclusive environment that supports people to live as independently and safely as possible.

“Our interior design, including the use of colour, materials, and products, will be dementia and autism friendly, making these dwellings attractive, homely, and practical for learning disabled people.

“Hft’s future strategy points to us providing care and support in thriving, local community settings where the people in our care can live as independently, and with as much choice and control as possible.”

Following discussions with current residents and their families about what they would like to see, the redevelopment will include fully-accessible and sustainably-designed houses and bungalows for learning disabled people, complete with shared communal spaces and kitchens, private gardens, and parking.

Making connections

“The Ironbridge development aims to enable a more-independent life through greater choice and control and help to build meaningful connections and relationships with other residents and the wider community,” said Matthews.

The charity has worked with the local authority and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure the redevelopment aligns with its future commissioning strategies.

The development is also in line with Homes England’s strategic objectives of creating high-quality homes in well-designed places that reflect community priorities by taking an inclusive and long-term approach.

And the dwellings will be at the forefront of energy efficiency, featuring the latest technology on renewables such as waste water recovery systems, PV panels on roofs, and air source heat pumps.

The first Hft supported living property will be completed in mid-2024 and the last one will be ready in February 2025.

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