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Developing life-changing homes: a joined-up approach

How Glen Housing Association is responding to local demand for specially-adapted, affordable housing in Fife, to provide life-changing homes for rent for older and disabled people.

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Being able to move freely from room to room in your own house is a daily routine that’s easily taken for granted. However, for many older and disabled people, living in accommodation which is not adapted to their needs can feel like being a prisoner in your own home.

One of my clients, Glen Housing Association, is tackling the shortage of suitable housing by working in partnership with developers to build affordable properties for rent. It purchased 37 new houses in the Methil area of Leven, with the help of a £1.6 million loan from CAF Bank, to provide a range of affordable homes including amenity bungalows and homes accessible to wheelchair users.

A key reason Glen Housing accepted CAF Bank’s offer of a loan was the close fit between its own community benefit focus and the bank’s charitable purpose.

Glen Housing’s new social housing scheme supports the Scottish Government’s plans to build 50,000 more affordable homes during this parliament, backed with £3 billion of funding, opening up new development opportunities for Scottish housing associations.

Soon after the scheme’s completion, I visited one of the sites to view the properties, meet delighted residents and see the benefits that the homes are bringing for the community. It was heart-warming to hear first-hand the stories of how the new homes will make a massive difference to people’s lives, as captured in this short film: www.cafonline.org/glenhousing

Among the residents are Trevor and Celia, who are overjoyed with their new home, which has brought them closer to their children and grand-children. Celia, a wheelchair user, was overcome with emotion upon seeing her accessible home for the first time, saying “I did cry the day I came round to see the house. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel.”

Anne Dickie, Director of Glen Housing, told me that they could have let the properties five or six times over, such is the local demand for this type of specially adapted, affordable housing. The housing association is now working on plans to develop more new homes for the local community.
It has been a privilege to support this life-changing project, and I’m looking forward to continuing our partnership with Anne, the Glen Housing team and Board.

If you’re looking for a flexible finance partner to support your development plans, please get in touch via: www.cafonline.org/socialhousing