Members of the Advisory Group and the Stonewall Housing London Forum were able to visit The Trees. This is an extra care housing scheme owned and managed by Hill Homes, and designed by PRP architects.
This scheme provides 40 one and two bedroom flats for older people. 24-hour care and support is provided on site.
The building was awarded a prestigious Housing Design Award in July 2011, winning the best Completed HAPPI Scheme.
The judges described Trees as “setting the benchmark for all housing for older people in the UK”.
It was also shortlisted for the British Homes Awards 2011 (Lifetime Home of the Year) and the House Builder Awards 2011 (Best Design). The site was already owned by Hill Homes, and the redevelopment was funded by grant from HCA.
The Trees represents many people’s ideal housing and care provision as they grow older, with a good location, and beautifully designed homes.
Changes to the funding regimes and the lack of access to grant funding mean that a similar scheme would not be possible now.
So although the visit was very valuable in helping to show us what has been achieved, it has also informed a realisation that the future prospects for older LGBT housing cannot rely on the possibility of developing schemes as good as The Trees in future with grant funding.