After a successful two-year refurbishment programme, Home South (formerly Warden Housing) is to officially re-open Robert Daniels Court in Theydon Bois, Essex. Staff and residents are hosting an event on Friday 14 July from noon until 2.00 pm to mark the occasion. Guest speakers will include Councillor David Stallan, Housing Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council and Tracey Lees, Managing Director for Home South. Councillor Mrs Caroline Pond, Vice Chairman of Epping Forest District Council will plant a commemorative tree and the event will also feature performances by the Theydon Bois Primary School Choir. Guests, including all Epping Forest District Councillors, will have an opportunity to tour the improved accommodation and talk to residents.
Robert Daniels Court is the first ever stock transfer of sheltered housing from Epping Forest District Council to a housing association. Following extensive consultation with residents and a ballot, ownership of the building was transferred to Home South, and Home South became the tenants` new landlord. The scheme was originally built in the sixties and was in need of a complete refurbishment. Most of the accommodation was in the form of bedsits, with combined bedrooms and lounges, with residents having to use shared bathroom facilities. Residents were consulted on what facilities they needed, and remained at Robert Daniels Court whilst the improvement scheme was carried out. An extension of self-contained flats was built and all the bedsits have been converted into flats. Now that the scheme has been completed, the residents are delighted with their new and converted homes.
Robert Daniels Court provides accommodation for the over sixties and cost just over £2.5 million to improve with completion in June 2006. The overall cost to the Council was far less than if the Council had undertaken the improvements itself. There are now 35 one-bedroom self-contained flats, all featuring modern facilities, including in some flats `wet rooms` and low-level use kitchens. A new communal lounge and landscaped garden will play host to a range of events and activities.
The scheme was completed successfully thanks to a strong partnership between Home South (formerly Warden), Epping Forest District Council, architects Hunter and Partners and Rok Construction. Robert Daniels Court has been designed to cater for varying levels of support and a full time Resident Manager is available for those requiring such support. Councillor Stallan says I`m sure the residents will agree that their new homes have been worth the wait. They look excellent. Warden Housing has proved itself, like the Council, to be a caring landlord. Indeed, with the success of this transfer the Council is now working with Warden (now Home South) to transfer another sheltered housing scheme in Chigwell. We will be seeking the Secretary of State`s consent for this in the near future.