Blackwood House 12m loan Scotland

Edinburgh-based charity Blackwood Homes and Care has been issued a loan of £12m through the Scottish Government’s charitable bonds scheme to enable a building programme of 160 highly accessible homes across Scotland.

With more than 1,500 homes already throughout the country, Blackwood helps people the elderly and people living with disabilities and sensory impairments to live more independently.

The smart ‘Blackwood House’ homes will feature a range of assistive technology including rise and fall surfaces and cupboards in the kitchens, electronic sliding doors, electric blinds and fully adjustable Pressalit systems that allow fittings to move horizontally and vertically.

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The suite also comes with a self-cleaning toilet.

The charitable bond was issued by Allia C&C and provides a simple, affordable loan to housing associations solely for building affordable housing, using Scottish government investment.

Debbie Collins, Finance Director at Blackwood, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this backing from Allia C&C. This will enable us to deliver more accessible housing across Scotland. There is huge demand for these homes and with an ageing population we need to build more for all of our futures.”

The accessible smart homes will be integrated with Blackwood’s own digitally-enhanced personalised care system, CleverCogs, which, in addition to controlling heating and lights, can be used to enable customers to video chat with their friends and family and receive appointment and medication reminders.

According to Blackwood, a swathe of the CleverCogs features will be voice-controlled.

The primary focus of the new properties is to provide accessible, future-proofed environments for disabled people live their life to the fullest, says the charity, by providing housing and care services which are tailored to their individual needs.

Debbie continued: “We work closely with our customers to evolve and develop new ways we can improve their ability to live independently. The support from Allia C&C will enable us to deliver 160 more homes to help tackle the housing crisis for people wanting to live more independently.”

Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart commented: “These new homes will provide more choice and flexibility for people with disabilities, and their families, with innovative technologies that support independent living.

“Everyone deserves a home that suits their needs, and that’s why we’re investing in charitable bonds to deliver more affordable, accessible and efficient homes across Scotland. To date, our £172m investment in the programme has provided development finance for over 1,200 affordable homes.”

The loans are available for five to 15 years on an unsecured basis, with no loan or interest repayments being made until the end of the term.

Interestingly, the interest on the loans will be used by the Scottish Government to provide further grants for more social housing projects.

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