Dementia-friendly Dumfries homes represent a ‘first’ for social housing in the region

A new £6.3 million housing development featuring dementia-friendly bungalows has opened in Dumfries.

The first residents have moved into the site, which comprises 42 homes at College Mains, following an investment jointly funded by the Scottish Government via the Affordable Housing Supply Programme (£3.1 million) and directly by Loreburn Housing Association (LHA) (£3.2 million).

Five of the properties have been designed to dementia-friendly standards, believed to be the first of their kind for social housing in the region.

Of the 42 homes, 18 are general needs properties, 16 are bungalows and eight are fully accessible apartments. Occupants include new-born babies, and the oldest tenant is in his 80s.

Jan Verweij and his family have moved into a specially adapted bungalow to aid caring for his daughter Suzy, who has additional needs. Jan said, “After years of private renting we were happy when Loreburn offered us a specially adapted home at College Mains. We were involved throughout the building process, getting the adaptions for Suzy exactly right. The adapted kitchen, the wider doors, the big wet-room and the ceiling hoist have all made caring for Suzy so much easier.”

Families recently attended an event to mark the opening of the new homes along with pupils from Lincluden Primary, who won a ‘Name a Street’ competition.

Russell Brown, LHA’s convenor said, “The requirement for investment in high quality, family homes across Dumfries and Galloway is recognised and Loreburn is delighted to develop these properties in partnership with the Scottish Government and Dumfries and Galloway Council. We are committed to Creating Great Places to Live across the region and have plans for similar schemes stretching from Stranraer in the west across to Langholm in the east.

“Over the next four years we plan to invest a further £45 million in new homes and many of those will be built to accommodate the housing needs of an ageing population. They are designed to help people live independently for longer.”

Lorraine Usher, CEO at LHA added, “Loreburn is committed to building homes that meet strategic need across the region, and we will continue to work pro-actively with partners to develop homes that make a positive difference to the lives of local people. We were delighted to see families enjoy Christmas and New Year in these superb new homes at College Mains. I wish the tenants every happiness for the future and thank them for choosing Loreburn as their landlord.”