Background and business case
Conewood House is a sheltered housing block in the north of Newcastle upon Tyne. The block previously consisted of 23 bedsits and 11 one-bedroom flats. Despite being within easy reach of local shops, amenities and transport links the properties were difficult to let due to their lack of internal and communal space, limited security features and outdated interiors. Residents were consulted in spring 2017 about plans to remodel the block. Work started on site in June 2018, taking a year to complete. The block has been transformed into 21 larger open plan apartments
Residents were consulted in spring 2017 about plans to remodel the block. Work started on site in June 2018, taking a year to complete. The block has been transformed into 21 larger open plan apartments with Jack and Jill bathrooms. A new light and airy glass entranceway has been created with fob access. This leads to a scooter store, and an extended communal area, with comfortable modern seating and kitchen facilities which residents can use to socialise with friends and neighbours. A further communal area is situated on the second floor of the block.
All communal areas have been decorated and furnished to a very high standard to create a hotel feel throughout the scheme. The front gardens have also benefitted from a complete makeover. The whole area has been landscaped, attractive seating areas have been installed and a raised flowerbed area created which is low maintenance and designed to encourage residents to enjoy and get active in the garden.
Feedback was taken onboard from previous sheltered remodelling schemes to increase the accessible features available in each apartment. The height of the toilet in each apartment was increased which has received positive feedback from residents. Members of staff were also trained as Trusted Assessors and therefore qualified to assess minor adaptations. As a result, all residents were assessed before moving into the scheme and any minor adaptations were installed prior to them moving in.
To address the anti-social behaviour issues, members of staff worked with the local Community Payback team. One of the contributing factors to the anti-social behaviour was that the park was very overgrown. The bushes and trees were cut down resulting in an improved view of the park for residents in the block and a reduction in anti-social behaviour in the area.
Once the block was nearing completion a show apartment was furnished and two open days organised. The events were extremely successful and resulted in all apartments being let prior to the completion date. The Regeneration Team have arranged coffee mornings for residents to get to know each other and more events are planned into the autumn and beyond to enable tenants to socialise.