The first step in a £40million partnership programme to create 150 new extra care housing properties in the Borders has been taken.
Plans for 39 new flats have been submitted by Eildon Housing Association (EHA) on the site of a former warehouse at Glenfield Industrial Estate in Galashiels.
The application is the first in the partnership programme with Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) which will see major investment in this type of housing model, which will enable a significantly greater number of elderly and vulnerable adults across the Borders to continue to live independently and receive care and support in their own homes.
Extra care housing offers the possibility of supporting higher levels of dependency but also providing an environment for lively and active old age and is based on self-contained flats, rather than small rooms as in residential care, and is available 24 hours a day.
Nile Istephan, Chief Executive of EHA, said: “If approved, this major investment will result in the regeneration of this site and creation of a major community asset for Galashiels.
“Eildon Housing is delighted to be working in partnership with Scottish Borders Council on this project, and hopefully others in the future, which will provide state of the art housing options for our growing older population.”
Councillor David Parker, Depute Chair of the Scottish Borders Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board, said: “Alongside the RSLs, the Council wants to assist older and vulnerable people to live at home, and the most obvious way to do so is to increase the supply and availability of extra care housing as alternatives to current residential care home provision.
“It is estimated that over 60 per cent of people going into residential care could have avoided or delayed this if extra care housing had been available in their area.
“Our partnership programme, including our first proposed development in Galashiels, can help contribute to meeting the needs of the growing elderly population of the Borders.”
Councillor Mark Rowley, SBC’s Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, added: “The proposed extra care housing development at Galashiels would not only benefit the older and vulnerable people living in these new flats, but support the local economy and local jobs.
“The partnership programme is part of the Strategic Housing Investment Plan, which could see well over £150million invested into affordable housing over five years, with SBC and partners delivering up to 1,000 homes in that time.
“If approved, this development will be the exciting first milestone towards the partnership programme’s target of 150 new extra care houses across the Borders.”