New chapter for learning disability care in Edinburgh

New housing which caters for the specific needs of adults with learning disabilities has opened in rural west Edinburgh.

The four high quality flats were built in Kirkliston after a shortage of purpose-built accommodation in the area was identified by carers and service users.

Seven people have now moved into flats which were designed by Home Scotland and built by Barratt Homes. The flats were adapted to meet the needs of the tenants and to enhance supported living. Share Scotland – funded by the Council – provide support to the tenants so that they can live in their new homes.

Local organisations such as Enable South Queensferry, which started campaigning for supported housing in the 1980s, and Queensferry Churches in the Community supported the families who campaigned for the housing for their adult children.

The Council provided grant funding through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme of £2,920,000 for a total of 73 affordable homes at Kirkliston, matched by £6.397m of private finance sourced by Home Scotland. £269,150 of grant funding went towards building new homes for seven adults with learning disabilities. Enable South Queensferry also provided funding.

The campaign for supported housing in the area was started by the Enable South Queensferry Branch in the 1980s. Members then set up the "Carers Have Your Say" lobby group with the Queensferry Churches in the Community.

In 2009, local carers commissioned research entitled The Long and Winding Road which outlined the need for supported housing and other services in West Edinburgh.

Health and Social Care Convener Cllr Ricky Henderson said: "These homes provide local people with a place within their own community where they can be independent. The purpose-built environment will ensure that the residents are well cared for and will improve their quality of life. The project also adds to the good services already available for people with learning disabilities in Edinburgh.

"The residents told us what they wanted, and I am delighted that the Council has helped their dream to become a reality. This project has come to fruition thanks to the tireless work of local families, charity groups, Council staff and Barratt Homes."

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