Work on a new housing development, which will include eight specialist autism bungalows, will begin this month in Guernsey.
The Guernsey Housing Association (GHA) has been awarded funding support from the States of Guernsey to start construction on the new homes, which will include a staff area and autism sensory gym at Le Vieux Jardin, next to La Nouvelle Maraitaine in the Vale.
There’ll also be 20 one-bedroom apartments on site.
The Le Vieux Jardin development is a first of its kind for Guernsey and will allow a islanders with autism who are currently sent to the UK to return to Guernsey full-time to be closer to family and friends – a move which will also save the States of Guernsey money.
Chief Executive of the GHA, Steve Williams, said: “One of the challenges we have faced with this particular development is that, despite there being a pressing need for specialist housing like this, there is very little of this type of accommodation being built elsewhere to benchmark against. The design and the quiet location of this development we hope will greatly support the needs of those with autism in a way never seen in Guernsey before – we are pleased to be pressing on with the project.”
The GHA will own and maintain the autism accommodation and the Committee for Health and Social Care (HSC) will provide the staff to support the residents. The GHA have worked closely with HSC and local architects Create to carefully research how to design the housing.
The design centres on the resident’s personal space in their standalone bungalows, separating staff areas to give the residents a defined property to call home. The design also creates a private courtyard area and includes a small sensory gym.
Dermot Mullin, Head of Adult Community Services from HSC, said “We are delighted to see this much needed project going ahead and look forward to being able to offer a local and cost effective service to Guernsey people with autism.”
Following a tender process JW Rihoy have been awarded the building contract for the development and work on-site will start later this month. It is expected to be completely by summer 2018.
The project is a partnership between the GHA, the Committee for Employment and Social Security (ESS) who are providing the land and funding support, and HSC who will provide the care staff.