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Refurbishing or remodelling? A checklist for extra care housing

Checklist, report | January 2005

This document comprises a checklist and accompanying explanatory notes prepared by the Institute of Public Care to help commissioners and providers of social housing assess the suitability of existing facilities for conversion to Extra Care Housing (ECH). Posing a series of targeted questions, it steers decision-makers towards one of six options: refurbishment (or more substantial remodelling) of existing facilities, demolition and rebuild on the existing site, new build on a different site, further preparatory work, or using existing resources for provision other than ECH.

The checklist is divided into three sections: consultation and planning; building standards; and funding, costs and income. Under each heading, managers are presented with a series of questions aimed at determining the viability of proceeding with ECH. Questions address matters such as local consultation, potential local uptake of services, and the affordability of prospective rents. Each question has accompanying notes to help inform responses, a space for managers’ comments, and a tick-box list to indicate which of the six options is supported by the preceding question.

The checklist itself is preceded by a diagrammatic “decision tree” designed to highlight the sort of overriding constraints that indicate alternative solutions should be considered. The document concludes with an extensive list of useful further reading.

The checklist was prepared for Trafford Borough Council, but should have broader applicability to other local authorities, registered social landlords and private providers.