Housing association Habinteg has joined forces with Leeds City Council to develop bespoke wheelchair accessible bungalows in the region.
The aim of the project is to address the shortage of accessible family homes for disabled and older adults, and people with complex physical needs.
The five homes, built across three city sites, incorporate specialist design features, including bench-mounted sockets and rise and fall worktops in the kitchen; drop down baskets in the wall units; and a pull-out tray under side-opening ovens to allow safe remove of hot items.
Bathrooms have spacious level access walk-in shower and bath, strengthened ply walls for grab rail installation as necessary, low pedestal sinks and easy-use lever taps.
Other features include a voice-operated front door entry system, allowing operation from three points within the homes, level access thresholds and low-surface temperature radiators.
A cross-council working group was set up to explore potential funding and identify suitable council-owned sites for the development of accessible housing to meet the growing demand in the city.
Following a ring-fenced tender exercise, Habinteg was invited to develop the homes across the three sites to meet the needs of families that had been on the waiting list for accessible housing for some time.
The housing association worked with the council to ensure that the homes met the necessary accessibility standards and were tailored towards the needs of the families identified.
Matthew Kelly, head of development, Habinteg Housing Association, said: “We’re glad to have had the opportunity to work on this project with a forward thinking authority like Leeds City Council. With the pressures on local authority property services departments to achieve best price for land disposals, it can often prevent the development of larger single storey wheelchair accessible dwellings such as these, which are in great demand.
“The project will result in direct cost savings by removing the need for unsuitable temporary accommodation. We’d like to thank Leeds City Council for its wider cross departmental support, which allowed us to make person-specific alterations during the build.”
Councillor Debra Coupar, deputy leader and Executive Member for Communities, said: “Homes like these will improve the quality of life for people with specific needs, and ensuring homes that are accessible are being built in Leeds is important to us.
“They reduce costs from property adaptations, and there are wider societal benefits such as reduced pressure on welfare and care budgets and facilitating independent living, which will support disabled people into employment and help reduce pressures such as bed-blocking.”