A Staffordshire family of three are delighted with their new home which has been built by their council to help meet a chronic shortage of housing for those with special needs. Hannah and Stephen Lowe have moved into the bungalow with their 16-year-old son, Josh. Their new home is one of seventeen eco-homes built in the area as part of a £1.8 million project to meet the demand for two-bedroom bungalows.
Building work on the bungalows finished in April and all of the homes which come complete with solar panels, under-floor heating and wet room bathrooms, have been allocated to those who need them most. Sixteen year old Josh suffers from hypoplastic anaemia from inadequately functioning bone marrow and at times needs a wheelchair to get around; his parents needed a home which could be adapted to his needs. The bungalow is ideal because he no longer has to negotiate stairs and can also manoeuvre his wheelchair through the wider doorways and hallway.
Mr Lowe said: “We had lived in a town house in Burslem for 14 years and it was very difficult for Josh to use the stairs. We were also spending up to £800 a quarter on electricity, so we really appreciate having a bungalow like this. It also benefits us in terms of it being eco-friendly. Josh’s condition means he needs to be kept warm and we are able to do that now at a cheaper rate. We are glad we have somewhere to call our permanent home.”
The new homes have been purpose-built for elderly and disabled residents and are the first properties to be built by Stoke-on-Trent City Council for twenty-five years. The innovative design of the properties has not adversely affected landlord insurance premiums and landlord and tenant alike are delighted with the finished homes. The concept behind the building scheme was not to create a new community but to bring families into existing ones. The overall view is that the plan has been a resounding success.