Torus group housing association, Helena Partnerships, has recently bought 7 sheltered housing schemes in St Helens and West Lancashire.
The acquisition is part of a wider group strategy to ensure that people aged 55 and over have access to an affordable home from an organisation committed to providing tailored support for independent living in later life.
Torus group head of social investment, Gill Healey, said: “As we get older we start to think more about where we live. Most people want to live independently but family homes can simply become too big and difficult to manage.
“We are able to offer people a range of options. Support for those who want to remain in their existing homes. Smaller, easier to manage individual homes that are part of a scheme with communal facilities. Housing with extra care for those who don’t have high care needs but might benefit from access to onsite support.
“The acquisition of these 7 new schemes has massively boosted our portfolio, in St Helens particularly, which means we are now able to offer more people over the age of 55 an affordable and manageable home.”
For those not yet ready to downsize, Helena has created an independent living service called Staying Home. The service, which is available to Helena tenants aged 55 and over, helps with arranging mobility aids or property adaptations so that people remain safe in their homes for longer.
Since older people, especially in retirement often struggle to make ends meet, it also looks at boosting income.
According to Age Concern, as much as £3.5bn of benefits are unclaimed by older people every year. People aged 60 plus could be missing out on pension credits, housing benefit, council tax support, disability benefits and more. The Staying Home Team checks to see if there’s money residents may be entitled to and also help to reduce energy bills, particularly around wintertime.
The team also works hard to reduce loneliness and isolation, identifying local groups and activities and signposting to befriending services.
Until recently the Staying Home Service was exclusively available to Helena tenants. However, with support from St Helens Council, the service is being widened to homeowners.
To find out more about the Staying Home Service call 01744 418118.
If you’re interested in viewing any of the sheltered housing schemes or finding out more call 01744 637383.