WORK has started on a state-of-the-art retirement village to help reduce a gaping housing shortfall in the Capital.
The £6 million project in Moredun, due to open in March 2015, will see 54 affordable apartments for the over-60s built.
Developer Castle Rock Edinvar wants to build 1000 homes over the next five years in partnership with Edinburgh council.
Their plan has been welcomed given Edinburgh is set to experience the fastest population growth in Scotland.
And – with an increasingly ageing population – the city’s housing leader Councillor Cammy Day says developments such as this will be needed more in the future.
“We work closely with Castle Rock Edinvar and other housing associations in Edinburgh, which has resulted in the number of affordable homes being built in the city trebling in the last few years. This much-needed project received council funding of nearly £2.5m and it is fantastic news that work has now started on site.”
The scheme replaces St Barnabas Court, and the nearby council-owned care home at Craigour.
With more than 25,000 people on social housing waiting lists and 16,000 new affordable homes needed in the city over the next ten years, Edinburgh faces huge housing issues.
This Moredun project could provide a blueprint or template for others in the pipeline.
Many of the homes are designed to be accessible to wheelchair users, they also provide “easy access” the outdoors to encourage residents to remain active.
Alister Steele, managing director of Castle Rock Edinvar, said: “We are creating stylish apartments for people who wish to live independently for as long as possible.
“The spaces are larger than normal to accommodate any required home-based care or mobility aids, and interiors are designed to allay confusion or anxieties which may occur either now or in the future.”
It is hoped that the apartments will help relieve the feelings of loneliness experienced by older people and allow them to enjoy their independence for longer.
Mr Steele said: “Loneliness and isolation are often associated with old age.
“The last thing older people need as their mental and physical health declines is the upheaval and stress of moving on to more appropriate accommodation in a new community, leaving behind their home and everything that is familiar.”
“How we feel about our physical surroundings can impact on our wellbeing.”
The 1000 new homes for Edinburgh scheme was launched last year and will support 1500 local jobs.