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No ordinary retirement housing

– 3 min read

The Engine Yard in Edinburgh is a buzzy new community of 377 homes that are a seamless blend of luxury, affordable and older people’s housing.

Places for People Scotland has commissioned 25 of the apartments in the wider development for affordable older people’s homes and the new residents are delighted.

In keeping with our approach to mixed tenure communities, all apartments are finished to the same exacting quality and standards. All homes have two bedrooms and are wheelchair accessible, with lifts to all floors and down to underground parking. The top floor apartments have amazing views across the city.

Clare is Mobile Service Co-Ordinator within Places for People Scotland’s older person team: “I’m really attached to this development, it’s been one of the best projects I’ve been involved in. The customers are all lovely, and it’s been a privilege to help them find their forever home. We interviewed each applicant individually to try and match them as closely as possible to the home they felt suited them best.”

Support worker Mo Harkin (62) applied for a home at The Engine Yard when she had had enough of noisy neighbours at her previous home by the Shore in Leith.

“I lived on a very noisy street and was surrounded by young people having parties. When I heard I’d been allocated the top floor flat I was over the moon,” she said.

“Moving here has been transformational. The quality of the house is amazing, it’s so much more than I expected and I’m still walking about with my mouth open. I’m a first-time customer of Places for People Scotland and they have been fantastic. I have a large wraparound balcony with views towards Arthur’s Seat and right across the Forth. I love the open kitchen and the bright sitting room where I can see to do lots of crafts. It’s so lovely and airy. Having two bedrooms means my twin sister can now come and visit whenever she wants to. She is the minister at Dornoch cathedral and she’s desperate to come down and see it for herself now that I’ve moved in.”

“I lived in Australia for a while where people tend to think ahead to old age and move into suitable housing sooner than they do here. Like me, most of my neighbours are still working and it’s a great community. I love the fact all the homes here blend in. I’m so lucky and I know it. Amenity housing doesn’t conjure up an image of this and I don’t plan to move again.”

Like her neighbour Mo, Trish Davies (68) was unhappy where she was living due to anti-social behaviour and noise coming from nearby student accommodation.

“There had been a number of police visits where I lived before for various reasons and we were on the direct route for ambulances to the hospital so it was very noisy. I have arthritis and applied for a new home on a Thursday. Clare phoned me two days later and when I came to view the apartment I thought I had won the lottery. I have everything on my doorstep, yet it is so peaceful being set back from the main road. I love the fact that the flats have a lift, and my balcony is my outdoor space, which I love. The gardens around the development are landscaped and nice to walk around and sit in. I have two bedrooms which means when my daughter comes to visit she can stay overnight. I’ve met most of my neighbours and everyone seems to be loving it here. They’re so happy. There’s no doubt, this has changed my life.”


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