The Chief Minister and the Minister for Housing have toured the two new housing developments for elderly citizens, Sea Master Lodge and Charles Bruzon House, both of which are now ready for occupation.

The 142 flats in these developments incorporate the latest accessibility features, such as colour contrasts in the kitchen to assist the visually impaired, non-slip tiles and panic buttons. The buildings’ design also takes account of the special needs of wheelchair users and includes communal areas which are intended to create a convivial family ‘home’ atmosphere, far removed from that of a hospital or care institution.

Minister Sacramento explained that much had been learned from the problems experienced at the Bishop Canilla and Albert Risso housing schemes. She said: “We carefully considered all the comments received and we have avoided making similar errors to those made in the older estates. Our emphasis has been on creating the best possible homes for elderly persons, paying attention to reasonable individual needs. We wanted to provide a space where people could be comfortable and safe: we also wanted to avoid obvious pitfalls which would need to be rectified later at considerable cost.

Minister Sacramento said there had been close consultation with several agencies and professionals including the Care Agency and the Occupational Therapist, to ensure that elderly comfort and safety were major considerations from the design stage. She also expressed her delight with the quality finish of these two fit-for-purpose developments and looked forward to people moving in.

She continued: “A great deal of thought has gone into these two housing projects. We have avoided the past mistakes incurred by the previous administration. We have encouraged communication between different agencies, with the Housing Department and other professional bodies to achieve the best possible results.”

As a Government we have to make the best use of tax-payers’ money to provide quality homes for senior citizens, making sure from the outset that things are done properly so that we do not have to spend more time and money in the rectification of problems. Sea Master Lodge and Charles Bruzon House do just that.

The Chief Minister said, ‘I am delighted that the elderly people of our community will soon be able enjoy these beautiful homes. Every consideration has been given to their design and advice has been sought from all the relevant agencies. As I toured the flats this morning I was extremely impressed with the quality of the workmanship in both developments and I must congratulate the construction company for all its work. Our elderly residents deserve the best and I am delighted that they will soon be able to enjoy the very highest standards of accommodation. These rental homes also free up large government tenancies which can be taken by younger families which need those larger flats. That's why the development of one rental home for the elderly in effect provides two homes into the government tenancy system."