£600k to upgrade sheltered housing

ABBEYFIELD and Wesley Housing Association has joined forces with Choice Housing Ireland Ltd to renovate a seven bed supported sheltered house for older people in the Bangor area.

The property, located at 111 Hamilton Road, Bangor, is currently undergoing an extensive £600k refurbishment programme and is scheduled for completion early 2016.

Geraldine Gilpin, Chief Executive of Abbeyfield & Wesley Housing Association, which provides a range of high quality accommodation and services to older people throughout Northern Ireland, commented, “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Choice Housing Ireland Ltd, owners of the Hamilton Road property, to provide additional supported sheltered housing in the Bangor area.

“The property is currently being significantly redeveloped, both internally and externally, to provide accommodation and services for seven Abbeyfield & Wesley residents. The house will be Abbeyfield & Wesley’s fourth in the Bangor area and is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2016.”

Mrs Gilpin added, “Our houses provide the privacy and security many older people seek when managing alone in their own home has become a burden. Residents come and go as they please, receive visitors and enjoy meals provided by the House Staff. They are free from the worries of maintaining a house and garden, paying bills and dealing with loneliness.

“At the centre of these homely houses are Abbeyfield & Wesley staff who are employed to ensure that the House is comfortable and safe and that meals are nutritious and enjoyable.

“Our role is very much to support the residents to help them to remain independent and be involved in the community.  We do this in a number of ways.  Every day two meals are prepared, cooked and served and all residents have an input into determining the weekly menus. If residents need us to liaise with Social Services in relation to their care needs, we fulfil this role and we can also assist in making appointments, filling out forms etc.

“We’ve incorporated feedback from residents in other supported housing initiatives and sought to integrate special features which they liked about their accommodation, whilst also working to achieve a design that is practical in terms of residents’ future needs.

The exterior space is also extremely important as a number of the residents enjoy gardening, while others like to spend time relaxing outdoors in a communal space.”

The anticipated cost of the Hamilton Road development is £614k, with grant of £425k being provided through the Northern Ireland Housing Executive by the Department for Social Development.  The remainder is being funded by Choice.