Minister visits integrated housing development in West Lothian
Cabinet secretary for communities, social security and equalities, Angela Constance, has praised the work that Horizon Housing Association does to increase the supply of suitable homes for older and disabled people across Scotland.
Ms Constance visited Horizon’s housing development in Fauldhouse, West Lothian, where she was able to see the impact of an integrated housing development on enabling the inclusion and independent living of older and disabled people in every community.
Fauldhouse is a16 year old development which provides homes for 24 diverse households and includes six homes designed to full wheelchair accessibility standards.
Ms Constance met with Mr Alec and Mrs Rosina McCallum, Horizon tenants since 2006, who moved to their fully accessible home in Fauldhouse in 2016 after Mrs McCallum suffered a serious stroke and became a full time wheelchair user.
The couple were pleased to have the opportunity to show her the flexibility and adaptability of their home and the difference it makes to their ability to maintain their quality of life.
Ms Constance said: “We know that most people want to stay in their own home as they grow older and I am pleased to see that having a wheelchair accessible home has allowed Mr and Mrs McCallum to continue living independently. The Scottish Government will continue to work with local authorities, disabled people, and other stakeholders to ensure that we improve choice and availability of accessible housing.”
Mr McCallum said: “If we didn’t have this house, designed to meet Rosina’s needs, then she would have had to go into care. This would have been terrible for us - and expensive for the government. More houses like this need to be built to let people stay in their homes and let families stay together.”
As part of the Link group of registered social landlords, Horizon and Link continue to maximise the supply of new social housing which is accessible to people with disabilities.
In response to the Scottish Government’s call for 50,000 new affordable homes (including 35,000 for social rent) Link has almost doubled its proposed development programme. As part of its ongoing responsibility to contribute to equality and inclusion, 10% of its planned housing will be designed to full wheelchair standard.
Julia Fitzpatrick, Horizon’s managing director, said: “Building homes is a long term investment. The investment 16 years ago in providing fully accessible homes on Fauldhouse means that we are able to assist people today to move to a suitable home in a community of their choosing, and with almost no need for further adaptation. It was very encouraging to hear Ms Constance’s commitment to action in achieving fairer housing for disabled people.”