Purpose built homes for older people in Antrim
More houses designed specifically with older people in mind are needed according to some of the lucky residents moving into their brand new homes in Antrim town last week. Ten purpose built bungalows in Fennel Drive were completed and handed over to their new occupants by Apex Housing Association, with one new resident saying her new home will change her life.
Lila Hamilton (74) is a wheelchair user having contracted polio at the age of two and says she is delighted with her new home:
This is a dream for me. I’ve been waiting seven years for a house that meets my needs. There are no steps to contend with, it’s so spacious and everything is at my level. Even the lever in the shower is easy for me to use as I have arthritis in my hands. The doors are all wide enough so that I can move my wheelchair throughout the house, and even out into the beautiful back garden.
The house is so convenient to the town centre and so I’ll be able to bring all my shopping right back to my kitchen on my mobility scooter, without having to depend on anyone to help me. I hope there are more homes like these built. I never thought I’d get a house as good; it’s definitely been worth the wait!
Fennel Drive is a brand new ‘Housing for All’* development which has been designed for active older people within close proximity to Antrim town centre where residents can access shops, cafes, medical and health services, a library and leisure facilities. Building work on Fennel Drive started in April 2018 and was completed last week with ten homes handed over to their new occupants.
Christina Doran from Apex Housing Association commented:
Homes for older people are in great demand in the Antrim area and we are delighted to meet some of that demand with these tailor made properties. Not only have we designed these bungalows to meet the needs of the ageing residents; the central location of Fennel Drive means residents can maintain their independence with easy access to the town centre and public transport links on their doorstep.
Another new Fennel Drive resident is John Taylor (68). John and his wife Silvia decided to downsize from their four bedroom family house which they were finding harder to maintain and were delighted to get a smaller home without having to move out of their local area:
There’s definitely a need for more homes like these. There are so many people we know who are getting older and life does start to become a bit of a struggle. This bungalow is the perfect size to maintain and it’s great to move into an area with people of similar age and who you know or recognise from the local area. The fact that we’ll easily be able to walk into the town centre is great too.
* Fennel Drive is a ‘Housing for All’ neighbourhood. The delivery of shared housing is an action in the Draft Programme for Government 2016 – 2021, and the Department of Communities has committed to delivering approx. 200 shared social housing units per year as part of the Social Housing Development Programme.
Each shared neighbourhood is supported through the development and delivery of a five-year Good Relations Plan. The Good Relations Plan is managed by the Housing Association developing the shared scheme and it includes ‘bonding’ programmes which are delivered to the new shared neighbourhood residents, and ‘bridging’ programmes which are delivered between the new shared residents and residents from surrounding communities.