The February Housing White Paper: Fixing our Broken Housing Market sets out the Government’s desire to incentivise new-build accommodation for older people to both help people live independently for longer and to free up family housing, while reducing costs to the social care and health systems. This article sets out the key lessons learnt from our work at Essex County Council to overcome the challenges of delivering housing with care for older people in two-tier local authorities.


We began working with Essex County Council in June 2014. Achievements on the Independent Living Programme for older people (55+) include:

  • Delivering a strategic business case for capital investment of up to £27.7million in 1800 units of extra care housing for older people between 2016 and 2021, with the potential to deliver annual revenue savings of £10m per year in five years

  • Enabling eligible older people in the county – who would otherwise be housed in residential care or receive domiciliary care in a home of their own that no longer meets their needs – to live independently

  • Designing and embedding a programme management approach that is now seen as an example to other services


The first Independent Living scheme in Essex, Rosebank Park, opened in Harwich in January. A second scheme, Beaumont House, will open in Walton-on-the-Naze this spring.

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