Partners deliver additional support needs development in Edinburgh
A new housing development has just opened in Edinburgh for people with additional support needs that is set to transform the lives of its tenants.
The development at Ford’s Road in the west end of the city was built by the charity Lar Housing Trust and is being hailed as the perfect example of partnership working to address a chronic shortage of homes for those with additional support needs.
Lar purchased the site, which had been lying empty for a number of years, from the City of Edinburgh Council and worked closely with its housing team and the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership (EHSCP) during construction. This ensured the nine flats were fit for purpose and would assist EHSCP in delivering the right sort of care for those it supports at the site.
Lar chief executive, Ann Leslie, said: “We’re extremely grateful to the council for its support with this project. This is also the second site in the city we have developed for EHSCP and this tripartite agreement is an example of how this innovative multi-agency working can address some of the most difficult housing issues we face.
“The development may be small, but it has a massive societal impact providing safe and high-quality homes designed around the bespoke needs of prospective tenants.”
Lar involved EHSCP staff in the design elements of the flats from the very outset and even welcomed relatives of prospective tenants to visit during construction to provide important feedback on the suitability of the homes. This was a complicated project on a tight site and was only made possible by detailed discussions between Lar, the Council and EHSCP on a variety of design and build topics.
This collaboration resulted in wide hallways, corridors and doors and included the types of tiles, flooring, and units needed to help tenants live safely. A specific anti-glare paint was also used to take account of the sensory support needs of tenants.
The development was officially opened by the council’s housing convener, Councillor Jane Meagher, who said: “What a fantastic example of working together as a city to create the type of affordable, accessible homes residents really need. It is great to see Lar bring health and social care and housing needs together in this way.
“The development may be small, but it will make a big difference – allowing tenants with specialist needs to live comfortably and with independence and to spend quality time with carers, friends and relatives. I’d like to wish everyone moving in a very happy time in their new home.”
One of the flats at the site, which was Lar’s first own-build timber frame development, will be used to provide temporary, flexible accommodation for people who need a break. Tenants for the remaining eight flats are set to move into their new homes in the next month.