Client: Essex County Council, 2017 – 2019
Inner Circle was asked to help Essex County Council consider how it might tackle the rise in adult social care costs through developing new forms of housing for older people that retained their quality of life, dignity and sense of community. We led a process of extensive research and engagement and undertook a fundamental review of Essex County Council’s Independent Living Housing Programme.
The council initially wanted to know just how it could accelerate its build programme, but during this research phase we worked with it to present deeper solutions: a systemic rethink of funding, local partnership, land use planning and the building programme. Our team immersed itself in the subject with council experts over an eight-week period of analysis, during which we interviewed more than 50 council staff, 20 care developers and providers and 10 investors and fund managers. The resultant business case showed an overwhelming case for investment in new models of independent living.
- Over 12 weeks we worked with the council, its twelve district councils and local extra care developer providers and developed a model to accelerate the delivery of extra care housing that better aligned funding, partnering models, town planning and capital project delivery mechanisms.
- The first two new independent living schemes opened in 2017 providing affordable rent accommodation for 140 older people with a care need and at the same time releasing much needed family homes back into the system.
Overall the programme has seen an acceleration of the number of proposed housing units from 200 to over 1,500.