Health Minister Visits Ormiston Homes

Dundee East MSP & Health Minister Shona Robison and local councillor Willie Sawers visited a new £4 million housing development being built in the Whitfield area of Dundee which forms part of both their constituencies.

Ms Robison and Councillor Sawers were shown round some of the 32 houses being developed by Angus Housing Association (AHA) in Ormiston Crescent by staff of the Association and the architect for the development, Ken Duncan, of local firm, Kerr, Duncan and McAllister. The houses being viewed were those nearest to completion.

AHA director, Bruce Forbes, outlined the progress which has been made with the development since the demolition of the last Dundee City Council houses in Ormiston Crescent in 2014. He explained to Ms Robison and Councillor Sawers that this was the last stage in the regeneration of Ormiston Crescent, started more than 25 years ago by the Ormiston People’s Housing Co-operative which had become part of Angus Housing Association in 2003.

Detailing progress on the site during Friday’s visit, Mr Forbes said: “The houses being viewed today are the furthest ahead and are nearly 90 per cent complete and should be available to let to new tenants in the Autumn. All of the houses are for affordable rent with just over 50 per cent of funding coming in subsidy from the Scottish Government and the balance being privately financed by a loan from RBS. The whole site will be complete on time and within budget by Spring of next year.”

Given her other job as cabinet secretary for health, wellbeing and sport, the AHA staff also drew Ms Robison’s attention to one particular house as an example of how housing associations in Scotland are involved in delivering the Scottish Government’s flagship policy of integrating health and social care. A four bedroomed, single storey house is being built to full wheelchair standards and has been designed and built specifically for two sisters who both have complex care and support needs including on site bedrooms for their carers.

On learning of the process by which Dundee City Council identified the complex needs of this household and then worked with AHA to design and build a new home for them, Ms Robison said: “In my role as cabinet secretary for health, I know the challenges ahead in delivering the integration of health and social care and the contribution that quality housing provision will have to make in delivering its objectives.

“I am, therefore, delighted today to already be witnessing an excellent example, at first hand, of how Dundee City Council and Angus Housing Association are stepping up to meet this challenge by working together on designing and building this new one-off home which will allow two sisters to continue living together as a family in the community of their choice.”

Councillor Sawers added: “It’s great to see progress on new-build housing, which as well as providing much needed high-quality homes, also helps to support the local construction industry.”