The Guernsey Housing Association (GHA) has obtained funding support from the States of Guernsey to start construction of 20 one-bedroom flats and eight specialist autism bungalows, including a staff area and autism sensory gym at Le Vieux Jardin, adjacent to La Nouvelle Maraitaine, Vale.
The Le Vieux Jardin development is a ‘first of its kind’ for Guernsey and it will allow a number of islanders with autism who are currently placed in the UK to return to Guernsey full-time allowing them to be closer to family and friends, and afford a financial saving to the States of Guernsey.
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.
Chief Executive of the Guernsey Housing Association (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.”
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 this development and work on-site will start in earnest during January. It is expected to take approximately 17 months to complete.
This 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.