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Council to deliver one of UK's largest PFI housing schemes

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Council to deliver one of UK's largest PFI housing schemes

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing

Council to deliver one of UK's largest PFI housing schemes Council to deliver one of UK's largest PFI housing schemes

North Tyneside Council is to build more than 600 apartments for rent to the over 60s as part of a major PFI housebuilding scheme.

The £300 million scheme will see 10 new sheltered housing schemes built and 16 more refurbished with work set to begin on sites across North Tyneside within weeks. All 26 schemes will be completed over the next three years.

Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn, who has sent a personal letter to every tenant to inform them of the news, said: "I am delighted that after so long we can eventually say to our tenants that this project will happen and they will have lovely new homes in the near future.

"This is one of the biggest schemes in the country and will make a real difference for our older people by transforming and revitalising retirement living available for rent in North Tyneside.

"Tenants will be able to enjoy a modern home with its own front door, and live in accommodation that is designed to the latest standards so they can continue to live independently, even if their needs change in the future."

The delivering of the sheltered housing project - creating a new retirement rented housing offer for the over 60s to be called North Tyneside Living - will also help North Tyneside Council tackle the borough's housing waiting list.

There will be vacancies in each scheme that will be let to new tenants as the work is completed, helping to free-up family sized properties for others in need of affordable social housing in North Tyneside.

The project will also ensure the council meets the decent homes standard and the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act in its housing provision through the refurbishment of 300 homes.

Cllr John Harrison said: "We were determined to make sure that all our older people have modern, appropriate homes that were fit for them to live in not just today, but also tomorrow if their health needs changed.

"There have been so many challenges put in the way to getting the homes they deserve, but now we have eventually got sign off from the government, the money is in place, and planning permission is all in place. We can say to our residents - it's a reality and you are going to have the homes you deserve and have waited so patiently for."

The scheme to modernise North Tyneside's sheltered housing accommodation will be delivered by Solutions 4 North Tyneside - a consortium consisting of Equitix and Miller Construction. Miller will also be providing construction services and Lovell Respond will be responsible for the long term maintenance. Together they will provide around 500 jobs as the construction gets underway.

Solutions 4 North Tyneside director, Phil Harris says: "We are delighted to have reached this key milestone working in partnership with North Tyneside Council in developing our solutions. Now we are looking forward to starting work on site and helping to make a real change to the lives of older people in North Tyneside."

In recognition that people want to be able to live independently in comfortable homes with all mod cons, each tenant has their own apartment with state-of-the-art bathrooms/wet rooms and kitchens and access to some fantastic services and facilities on their doorstep.

The apartments are accessible by wheelchair and there are facilities for the storage of motor scooters for those who need them.

There will be communal spaces, where a range of services can be provided.
The gardens are being designed to ensure tenants can enjoy the outside space and there will be allotment and greenhouse areas for those who wish to pursue their love of gardening.

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Northumbria University has ensured that the new and refurbished buildings are designed with sustainability and the health and wellbeing of tenants in mind.

The first phase will be four new build schemes at Bristol Drive, Battle Hill; Chapelville, Seaton Burn; Crummock Court, Howdon and Rosebery Court, Monkseaton.

There are also five refurbishment schemes at Eccles Court, Backworth; Fernlea, Annitsford; Rudyerd Court, North Shields; Feetham Court, Forest Hall and Rosebank Hall, Howdon.

Paul McDermott, Public Sector Commercial partner at Trowers & Hamlins, who advised on the PFI deal, added: "We are really pleased to have worked with North Tyneside Council on this transaction and delighted that over 900 new and modernised council homes will shortly be delivered."

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