A new collection of 24 pioneering accessible homes, which aim to transform the lives of people with disabilities, is being built in Glasgow. They will include technology that can open doors and adjust the height of kitchen worktops at the touch of a button.
Leading care and housing provider Blackwood has revealed that the next phase of its revolutionary Blackwood House is being developed at Glamis Road in Glasgow.
About Blackwood Homes and Care
Blackwood Homes and Care is a registered charity based in Scotland. It was founded in 1972 by Dr Margaret Blackwood MBE, a campaigner for the rights and independence of disabled people.
Its vision is to help people live their life to the full in the pioneering spirit of Dr Blackwood by providing high-quality housing, care and support for disabled people of all ages.
With more than 1,500 homes across 29 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, it is more widely dispersed than most other care or housing provider. It has embraced also the challenges of taking housing and care into innovative areas at a time when funding is increasingly limited.
Blackwood Homes’ new development in Glasgow
The new development, in the Helenvale area, will be made available to tenants in late 2020 and follows the hugely successful launch of the Blackwood House in Dundee.
Helenvale will consist of 24 wheelchair accessible two-bedroom flats, which have been carefully developed with accessibility in mind. By combining innovative construction with the latest technology, Blackwood aims to help disabled people live their life to the full by providing housing and care services that are tailored to their individual needs.
Every aspect of the ‘Blackwood House’ has been carefully considered to remove obstacles that can disrupt daily life for tenants. Homes will come equipped with:
- electronic sliding doors
- electric blinds
- underfloor heating
- solar panels
- automated rise and fall surfaces and cupboards in the kitchen.
- a rise and fall sink in the bathroom
- fully-adjustable shower
- self-cleaning toilet.
The ‘smart’ properties will be integrated with Blackwood’s own digitally-enhanced personalised care system, CleverCogs™. This, in addition to controlling heating and lights, can be used to enable tenants to video chat with their friends and family and receive appointment and medication reminders. Many of the CleverCogs™ features will be voice-controlled.
In addition to regular care at home services, tenants will also be able to access 24-hour care through Blackwood’s revolutionary Night Support Service. This allows tenants to access care support between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am via the CleverCogs™ system. Care staff will be able to answer video calls and assess a situation in the same way they would in person.
Blackwood is working closely with the Health and Social Care Partnership in Glasgow to allocate the houses to tenants. Helenvale is Blackwood’s eighth residential development in Glasgow.
The first phase of the Blackwood House – involving six properties in Dundee’s Glamis Road – was launched in Dundee in June 2017. Blackwood has plans to build up to 140 more Blackwood Houses in all parts of Scotland over the next few years.
The accessible housing crisis continues
Despite the incredible work of Blackwood Homes providing accessible homes for disabled people in Scotland, figures show there is an increase in the number of disabled people on the social housing waiting list in England.
From the Department of Housing, ITV News uncovered that: “119,621 disabled people or people with a medical condition were left waiting for an accessible home by their local authority in 2018/19, a rise of more than 10% since 2016/17.”
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told ITV News that he’d look into whether the law needed to change to ensure new homes being built meet the standards required for disabled people to have better access.
The Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government have said: “We will be consulting shortly on raising minimum standards for accessible housing for all new homes and since 2012 we have invested more than £2.7bn to fund 280,000 adaptations to existing homes.”
By Emma Purcell
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