£3.1m supported living project in Whiteabbey

(L-R) Bob McCann, chair of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, joins Michael McDonnell, Choice Group chief executive, Hazel Bell, chair of Choice, Peter Moran, director Todd Architects and Oscar Donnelly, Divisional director of Mental Health, Learning Disability and Community Well-Being, at the topping off ceremony of Choice Housing's supported housing scheme in Whiteabbey.
(L-R) Bob McCann, chair of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, joins Michael McDonnell, Choice Group chief executive, Hazel Bell, chair of Choice, Peter Moran, director Todd Architects and Oscar Donnelly, Divisional director of Mental Health, Learning Disability and Community Well-Being, at the topping off ceremony of Choice Housing's supported housing scheme in Whiteabbey.
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A new £3.1m supported living scheme that will boost the housing options for people with early stage dementia in the Newtownabbey area has moved a step closer to completion.

Developed by Choice Housing, in partnership with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and the NI Housing Executive, The Croft comprises 24 units with one staff bedroom and associated staff facilities.

The living units consist of mixed self-contained apartments with communal facilities all built to wheelchair housing standards.

The apartments, which will be available from May 2018, will enable local people with a care need to continue to live independently with the added security of care and support when they need it.

Community representatives joined Choice Housing, Northern Health and Social Care Trust and the NI Housing Executive at the official topping off ceremony in Whiteabbey last Wednesday.

Hazel Bell, chair of Choice, said: “We have a wide range of housing options in the Antrim and Newtownabbey area aimed to meet the diverse needs of local people, specifically sheltered, family and supported housing. This scheme is another example of quality-supported housing for those who want to live independent lives and play their part in the local community”.

“The Croft is the latest completion in a busy new build programme that is actively planning and constructing much needed new homes across the region. Today is an important milestone for us and for the people who will ultimately benefit from the new homes in this area. We couldn’t do this without the positive partnerships we have developed, namely the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Department for Communities and NIHE.”

Bob McCann, chair of the Northern Health Trust, said: “The Northern Trust has been working for some time on future services for people with dementia. Our ambition is to support people to remain at home for as long as possible with appropriate support and, when this is no longer possible, to offer supported living services.

“This is an exciting new initiative for the Trust as it is the first three way partnership which allows the Trust to offer greater choice regarding the care model and type of accommodation and we look forward to bringing it to completion next year. “

The scheme, designed by Todd Architects with Tal Ltd appointed as project contractor, is funded through a mix of private financing secured by Choice Housing and grants from the Department for Communities.