Soha Housing’s Independent Living team is an ‘outstanding’ provider of housing and services for older people.
The Centre for Housing and Support (CHS) assessed the team’s work over nine months. Soha’s paper evidence was measured against on-site visits to two different styles of independent living accommodation. Erosh, the national consortium for sheltered and retirement housing, has now taken ownership of the CHS Service Excellence Standards, and passported Soha through its new Code of Practice.
Steve Rafferty of erosh, pictured centre back, says that the erosh accreditation scheme “ensures that services promote independence to a range of service-users, and across all tenures.” Nationwide, both private providers and registered landlords such as Soha can apply to have their service assessed against the Code of Practice, yet only around 25 have currently chosen to do that. Fewer than half of those have achieved the grade of ‘outstanding’ in their approach.
Rebecca Mollart, erosh chief executive, said “erosh is delighted that Soha is the first organisation to be passported through the new erosh Code of Practice. Achieving the Code of Practice enables Soha to demonstrate the quality of its housing and services for older people against nationally recognised standards, and to measure the positive outcomes for its customers”.
Jude McCaffrey, Soha Head of Housing, pictured left, says that erosh recognition is good news for residents. “The accreditation is a national benchmark which shows that the team is operating in line with best practice. Our approach is ‘light-touch’: the whole point of living independently is that you can have as much privacy or community activity as you would have done in your younger years. However, as soon as we or the residents identify that support would be helpful, we have a range of tools to deploy immediately. We link in to our own services such as tenancy sustainment and the provision of aids and adaptations to help those with mobility issues, but we also have lively partnerships in our neighbourhoods and with external organisations, such as those with whom we are working towards being a dementia-friendly housing association.”
Soha will open its fourth Extra Care scheme of 75 apartments in Wallingford – roughly half for affordable rent, and half shared ownership – in 2021. Its Guide to Housing and Services for Older People is available on the Sheltered and Extra Care housing pages of our website.