Specialist housing and care provider Blackwood Homes and Care has been awarded a £12 million loan from the Scottish Government to build 160 accessible smart homes for disabled people in Scotland.
The organisation was chosen to receive the loan through the government’s charitable bond scheme for its ability to improve the quality of peoples’ lives by allowing them to live independently at home.
The homes will be equipped with electronic sliding doors, electric blinds, underfloor heating and solar panels.
Other features include rise and fall surfaces and cupboards in the kitchen and an accessible bathroom supplied by Danish company Pressalit.
The ‘smart’ properties will be integrated with Blackwood’s own digitally-enhanced personalised care system, CleverCogs, which, in addition to controlling heating and lights, can be used to enable customers to video chat with their friends and family and receive appointment and medication reminders.
Debbie Collins, finance director at Blackwood, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this backing from Allia C&C. This will enable us to deliver more accessible housing across Scotland. There is huge demand for these homes and with an aging population we need to build more for all of our futures.”
Blackwood Homes and Care was founded in 1972 by Dr Margaret Blackwood MBE, a campaigner for the rights and independence of disabled people.
She was awarded her MBE for her dedication to improving the lives of disabled people and bringing awareness to a lack of adapted homes.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “These new homes will provide more choice and flexibility for people with disabilities, and their families, with innovative technologies that support independent living.
“Everyone deserves a home that suits their needs, and that’s why we’re investing in charitable bonds to deliver more affordable, accessible and efficient homes across Scotland. To date, our £172 million investment in the programme has provided development finance for over 1,200 affordable homes.”
In 2019, AMP reported on how smart homes are being used to boost digital skills among older and disabled people.
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