Wheelchair-accessible houses constructed in Inverness

Cllr Trish Robertson; Mairi Ross Grey, More Homes Division Manager, Highlands, Islands & Moray & Cllrs Isabelle MacKenzie and Ian Brown are pictured welcoming Mr and Mrs Davidson to their new home.

A wheelchair-accessible housing development costing more than £800,000 has been completed in Inverness.

The six houses feature wider doors and halls, level access showers and height adjustable wash hand basins, sinks and worktops suitable for a hob and there is an oven housing which can accommodate a traditional oven or a microwave at waist height.

The living areas have full height windows and glazed doors that open out onto a back patio and provide unimpeded views from a seated position.

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Each property has its own loc-bloc driveway providing parking close to the front door and there is a generous roof overhang to provide shelter from the rain.

The houses are well insulated and have gas combi boilers which provide instant hot water and heating. There are also photo-voltaic panels on the roof which generate electricity to keep the tenants’ fuel costs low.

The project was commissioned, designed and managed by The Highland Council’s Development and Infrastructure Service. O’Brien Properties carried out the construction works which started on site in March last year.

The development cost £846,000 with £342,000 grant funding from the Scottish Government and the rest coming from the council.

All the homes have been rented to tenants and yesterday guests visited the development and were invited by Mr and Mrs Davidson to look around their new home.

Vice Chair of the Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Trish Robertson, said: “I am delighted to welcome Mr and Mrs Davidson into their new home. I’m sure all the special accessible features included in the design will greatly benefit them and the other new tenants.

“I would also like to thank everyone involved in the project for all their hard work. Having the Council’s in-house design team work so closely with the NHS Occupational team from the very start has certainly helped to create homes that cater for the individual needs of the people living in them.

Fiona McKay, an occupational therapist with NHS Highland who was involved with this development, added: “It is always exciting to see how excellent design can make a real difference to people’s lives.

“We were delighted to have input into the design process at an early stage which allowed us to not only ensure maximum accessibility within each property but also cater for the new tenants’ individual needs.”

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “I am delighted to see these six high quality, affordable new homes completed by the Highland Council.

“These homes, with the designs accommodating a number of accessibility features, can offer life changing solutions for the new tenants and reaffirm our commitment to building a new generation of affordable council housing that meet people’s needs.

“We are on track to deliver our commitment of at least 50,000 affordable homes over this Parliament, backed by over £3 billion of investment.

“Working closely with the local authority and supporting this development with £300,000 government funding, shows that we are providing the right homes in the right places, and to a standard anyone would be proud to call home – a core part of our drive to make Scotland a fairer and more prosperous country.”

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