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Spadework starts on new way of living

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Work has begun on an exciting new housing development for supported living for people with learning disabilities in Sandwell.

The project is a joint venture by Sandwell Council, Bromford Group and Mansell Construction. Bromford will also provide the intensive housing support.

The initiative follows a government directive to separate the management of people's accommodation from the management of their care. The Department of Health contributed a capital grant to make this scheme happen.

Barbara Peacock, Sandwell's Corporate Director - People, said: "This project represents real and positive change in the lives of 25 Sandwell citizens with a learning disability who will move from a traditional model of nursing care provision into their own homes with cost effective support designed around their needs and aspirations."

To mark the progress on the supported housing at Sussex Avenue and Old Meeting St in West Bromwich, a ceremonial sod-cutting took place at the Sussex Avenue site recently.

Sandwell's Cabinet member for adult care Councillor Ann Jaron said: "This is about moving people out of long stay hospitals into a supportive living arrangement where they will have more choice and control over their lives.

"People who have already moved into the new style dwellings have reported real improvements in their health and quality of life including independence and social contacts.

"Think Local will also work alongside contractors to boost employment and training opportunities for local people and for people with learning disabilities who will work towards gaining a NVQ qualification as part of their placement."

Bromford's Head of Development, Amelia McCann said: "We are delighted to be providing valuable, permanent and bespoke accommodation for these vulnerable people. The residents are very excited at the prospect of moving into their new homes."

Following public consultation neighbouring residents gave their full support to the idea of building these new flats and bungalows for people with learning disabilities.