Midlothian homes offer a ‘better life’ for new tenants

Midlothian Councillor Stephen Curran pictured at Teviot Court with officers from the council and the Richmond Fellowship.
Midlothian Councillor Stephen Curran pictured at Teviot Court with officers from the council and the Richmond Fellowship.

The first tenants have moved into their new homes in an innovative housing development for people with a range of complex care needs.

The development represents a redesign of services for people in Midlothian with a learning disability that allows them to live independently in their own communities.

Consisting of 12 single storey properties, the new scheme at Teviot Court, Penicuik, is close to the town centre and local amenities. Within each house is a bedroom, lounge, kitchen, bathroom and a patio area. The properties are all wheelchair accessible and were designed using the most up to date research and best practice in building design.

The Scottish Government contributed £552,000 funding towards the construction costs to develop these council houses.

The tenants will benefit from individually tailored support to set up home.

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland, a charity which supports people with a broad range of needs to live as independently as possible in their own homes, has been appointed to provide support to all tenants in the development.

They will provide support in a number of areas including personal finance, education and skills development. A tenants’ participation group has also been established.

One of the first tenants has spoken about how his learning disability and care needs had made it difficult for him to live as an independent adult.

He said: “Life will be better. I will no longer be in hospital. I have been in hospital far too long. Moving into my own home will enable me to live more independently, to learn new skills such as cooking and doing housework.

“I am looking forward to meeting new people, exploring my local neighbourhood and finding out about other things that I can join in with.”

Councillor Stephen Curran, Cabinet Member for Customer and Housing Services, said: “These new homes have been built to fill the need for housing options for people with complex needs who would find it more difficult to live in more mainstream accommodation.

“They will provide the best environment to support people whilst ensuring they can live in their own tenancy with dignity and privacy.”

Richard Ibbotson, Executive Director, from the Richmond Fellowship Scotland says: “We’re really excited to be partnering with Midlothian Council in the development and delivery of this innovative new service. It will make a huge difference to the people living in it, helping them lead positive and active lives in their community.”