Work has officially begun in Leith to bring new homes packed with assistive technology options for local people living with disabilities.

24 new apartments are being built at the site in Leith, which will be adapted for people with physical disabilities or learning development challenges.

The £5.4 million scheme, called Heron Court, the first in Scotland, is being delivered by specialist supported living developer HBV in partnership with Lifeways, Inclusion Housing and Edinburgh City Council. The development is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

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HBV has already delivered 50 developments in England and the scheme in Leith is the first of what it hopes will be a number of new schemes to help young disabled adults live more independently in Scotland.

Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Frank Ross, said: “Edinburgh is known as an inclusive and caring city with strong communities that work hard to support each other. It is so important that our citizens have access to high-quality public services and, for many, access to good quality housing is the foundation of a good quality of life and good health.

“This new development at Heron Court will help 24 local adults with disabilities move into their own apartment from early 2021. It will offer the benefits of independent living with the security of on-site staff and I’m pleased to join Deidre Brock MP for this ground-breaking ceremony.”

HB Villages (HBV) was incorporated in 2011 in order to deliver a pipeline of new-build supported living accommodation throughout the UK.

Alastair Sheehan, Development Director of HBV, commented: “We’re delighted that everyone recognises the need for specialist supported living accommodation for some of the local community’s most vulnerable people.

“It is pleasing to see that Scotland has some of the most forward looking adult social care commissioners in the UK and we are engaging with as many of them as we can to help them bring similar schemes to their own localities.

“Many of the tenants living here will be having the keys to their own front door for the first time in their lives which will be a tremendous boost to their independence and a positive impact on their lives. The impact of assistive technology woven into the fabric of the building is also going to deliver positive outcomes.

“We are tremendously excited by all the development and regeneration progressing in Leith and we are pleased to be playing a small role in contributing to a diverse and inclusive local community.”

Lifeways specialises in supported living services for adults with diverse and complex needs. Its specialist services are individually tailored to support people with learning disabilities, mental health needs, autism, profound and multiple learning disabilities, sensory and communication impairments, and acquired brain injuries.

Inclusion Housing is a community interest company and national registered provider of social housing, specialising in the provision of modern, suitable accommodation for vulnerable adults.

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