Dream come true for Sunderland mum and autistic son as perfect new home gives him independence
A mum has praised life-changing new council homes that are enabling her profoundly autistic son to become more independent.
Michele Carr has described the specially adapted bungalows at Albert Place, Columbia, as ‘everything she could have wished for’ as the first home for her son James, who is moving into the property with 24/7 care.
James, 26, has severe autism which means he has the communicative abilities of a four-year-old.
But his impressive new home means he can lead a more independent life with his family’s minds put at ease.
Built by Sunderland City Council, Albert Place is one of the schemes delivered as part of its £59million Housing Delivery and Investment Plan (HDIP) and have been custom-designed and developed for people with disabilities and challenges with mobility, as well as those who have support-needs that could be better met with one-storey living.
Michele said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the bungalow. It has been an absolute dream for us to find a property like this for James.
"Though we have planned this for many years, it’s been very tough, emotionally, for us as a family to take the steps towards James’s independence.
“But knowing that he is moving to such a beautiful home, where his needs can be supported, is just wonderful and has made the transition much easier for us.”
The bungalow features a range of assistive technology devices, which James is able to operate himself, to allow him to maintain a sense of independence and is one of 117 homes that will be built in Sunderland.
The bungalows, which are constructed by Tolent, were handed over last month, with tenants moving in over the past few days and are the first new-build council homes to be completed in more than 40 years.
Councillor Kevin Johnston, dynamic city cabinet member, said: “We’re delighted with the life-changing difference these bungalows are making to our residents.
“James, and the other residents who now call Albert Place home, deserve to be supported with high-quality homes that meet their needs and that is exactly what we’re trying to achieve through the HDIP and through this scheme. We could not be happier to see these brilliant new homes now in use.”