MSP praises progress to build 'intergenerational' housing at Garrick site

South Scotland list Colin Smyth has praised a new groundbreaking “intergenerational” housing development in Stranraer.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 10:44 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 12:01 pm
Colin Smyth with Loreburn Housing chief executive Lorraine Usher

Loreburn Housing Association is building dementia-friendly housing alongside an innovative ‘Employment Hub’ on the site of the former Garrick Hospital.

Mr Smyth toured the site last week, where eight one-bed and four two-bed ‘extra care’ dementia-friendly homes are being built, alongside a ‘Youth Foyer’ Employment Hub offering supported accommodation for up to 12 young people.

Youth Foyers, which are recognised as international best practice, provide safe and secure housing, support and training for young people aged 16 -25.

The Stranraer development will be a first for Dumfries and Galloway and only the second foyer in Scotland.

Young people living at the Foyer will be expected to be either in education, an apprenticeship, other employment or training, and will have access to volunteering opportunities within the community

The Youth Foyer also offers community access areas, a state of the art conference facility, breakout spaces and access to WiFi.

Mr Smyth said, “Everyone is entitled to a decent home and that can often mean breaking down barriers to make that accessible.

"Loreburn are certainly doing that both for people living with dementia as well as young people, and that bringing together of different generations at the Garrick is really exciting.

"The fact the facilities at the foyer will be open to the community is an added bonus and really does show that new housing is about more than just putting a roof over someone’s head.

“The two challenges of supporting people to live a fulfilling life when battling dementia, and providing opportunities for our young people are huge, and that’s why it was great to see at first hand the progress being made.

"I think a lot of people across the country will be watching the Garrick development with interest because if successful it could be a model that is rolled out elsewhere.

"There is a real shortage of dementia-friendly housing across the region, and I hope what we are seeing at the Garrick is really just the start.”