The tenants of Graham Court Sheltered Housing in Lochore are celebrating the reopening of the complex following extensive refurbishments.
Over the last year, Fife Council has made a significant investment to convert outdated bedsits into 20 units of modern flatted accommodation, along with replacing the roof and updating the fire sprinkler system and fitting new energy efficient lighting.
Council leader Alex Rowley said: “We are delighted to see the return of the long term residents of Graham Court to the complex, and would like thank them for their patience during the period of the refurbishment.
“We are looking at new and innovative approaches to meet the demand for housing for older people and Graham Court sheltered housing complex is the pilot for the development of the “Retirement Housing” concept – a modern take on the traditional sheltered housing service introduced in the 1960’s. We are also building care villages and want to establish best practice in meeting the housing needs of older people who can feel safe and have the levels of support they need in their older age”.
Speaking at the event Mr Rowley said; “I want today to also pay tribute to the Willie Clarke who has been fighting for an investment into Graham Court to modernise the facility and change the bed sits into one bedroom flats. Without his persistence and determination this £800,000 project might never have happened and I am delighted that he is here today to cut the cake with Georgean Michie in celebration of the new facilities and flats”.
The objectives for Retirement Housing are:
Move from a housing support service to the enhanced housing management service.
Find an alternative for the “Morning Call” service to ensure tenants enjoy a high level of security in their homes.
Increase the capacity for social activities for tenants to combat social isolation and keep tenants active.
Offer a housing option for people struggling with their existing accommodation to continue to live independently in the community in a secure environment.
Potentially reduce the age criteria for allocation from 60+ to 55+ – this will be subject to close consultation with existing tenants.
Following the event at Graham Court, a report will be made to the Cowdenbeath Area Committee in December 2013 outlining the scope of the Retirement Housing pilot and how the progress of the pilot will be monitored. A further report will be made to the Area Committee by April 2014 on progress.
Photo: Provost Jim Leishman, and Council leader Alex Rowley look on as Willie Clarke and Georgean Michie, the longest standing resident cut a “welcome home” cake to mark the occasion.