Housing provider to launch new homes for people with disabilities

A Sheffield company that provides bespoke supported living accommodation has secured £400,000 from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, to open a new facility.

The funding will enable SLE Housing to complete the conversion of a Victorian schoolhouse in Greenhill Village to create homes for nine adults with learning difficulties or disabilities. The property, which was built in 1845 as a school and most recently used as a doctors’ surgery, is due to open in August this year. It will offer a mix of purpose-built one and two-bedroom houses and create over 40 jobs for care staff to support the new residents in their daily lives.

The Old Schoolhouse is the fourth development for SLE Housing, which was founded in 2017 by Diane Simpson-Lyons, who had a background in the care sector, and her son Brett. They currently offer supported living accommodation for over 30 adults across Sheffield.

The business is also expanding into assisted living accommodation for the over-55s and is planning to build homes for over 160 people. It has acquired a number of sites which are currently at various stages of design and development.

Brett Simpson-Lyons, Chief Executive, said the company aimed to help our residents to enjoy a more independent and fulfilling life in specialist accommodation adapted to their individual needs. “Since construction started on the Old School, we have received an overwhelming number of enquiries and could have filled the accommodation many times over,” he said.

“We are currently building links with the community and the Church, which has made a multi-million pound investment in the facilities next door and will be a fantastic partner. Many of the enquiries we have received have come from people with elderly parents which confirms the strong demand for assisted living accommodation for the over-55s and supports our future plans to expand into this area.”

Andy Tyas of Mercia said: “There is a real shortage of bespoke supported living accommodation and SLE Housing is doing an excellent job in providing purpose-built high-quality homes. We are delighted to be able to support them with the launch of this latest development, which will add to the facilities available in the area and enable them to help more people live independent lives.”

Keira Shepperson, Director, Regional Funding at British Business Bank, said: “At a time where cities are failing to provide plans for wheelchair accessible homes, Brett and his team are stepping in to provide a life-changing solution to many people across the country. Investing in companies that are community focused is a key tenet of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and SLE is one of the many examples of Northern industry leaders using their experience to establish companies that have a social focus at its heart.”

Andy McKenna, Access to Finance Advisor for the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub, provided fundraising advice to SLE Housing.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.