Dudley’s £5.7m supported housing scheme opens its doors
Dudley’s £5.7m flagship supported housing scheme for the region’s vulnerable adults and homeless has opened its doors to the local community for the first time.
Developed by Midland Heart in partnership with Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Homes and Communities Agency and Bullock Construction, the new development has been designed to help individuals overcome barriers to living independently.
Built on the site of a former homeless hostel on Gibbs Road, Saltbrook Place in Lye is a two-storey development comprising 58 units of accommodation including 24 rooms with en-suite and 34 one-bed apartments. Seven of the ground floor rooms also have kennels for dogs. Open to individuals and couples, the service is managed 24-hours a day.
In addition to providing much needed accommodation, customers also have access to an IT suite, learning kitchen and allotments as well as access to mainstream health services, specialist agencies and colleges.
Demand is high and in just six weeks Saltbrook Place has already welcomed 72 new people, including a number of couples, several of whom have already successfully moved on to permanent accommodation in the area.
David Cockcroft, operations manager of supported services at Midland Heart, says: “Saltbrook Place transforms the provision of services available to vulnerable individuals in the area. As well as giving structured support, Saltbrook will provide its customers with a motivating environment, enabling them to rebuild their lives and progress to independent living.
“Supporting vulnerable adults is not just about giving them a place to lay their head at night, it is about developing aspirations and providing the tools to make the right choices for the future.”
Named by the community after a nearby boundary stream in Lye, Saltbrook Place also has extensive facilities which the neighbourhood can utilise. These include meeting rooms, catering and exercise facilities, and the opportunity to get involved in gardening as part of the allotment scheme.
A multi-agency steering group has overseen plans for the scheme since its inception whilst a new stakeholder group has been set up to oversee the operation, consisting of representatives from Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, the local police force, health services and, various other local services and support groups.
Councillor Gaye Partridge, cabinet member for housing at Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, added: ““This is a significant improvement which will help young people get their lives back on track.”
As part of the funding, the Homes and Communities Agency have invested £3.6m in the new scheme.