Housing with room for vision and values

When you’re the second-largest private property owner of public-services properties in Sweden and want to make a difference for your tenants, you take an interest when someone announces “I want to build Sweden’s best sheltered accommodation”.

Those were the words of Robin Berkhuizen, CEO of Emrahus, which builds sustainable passive buildings and modern sheltered accommodation. Hemfosa and Emrahus are now collaborating to create adapted homes and secure workplaces for housing and organisations with specific needs. The result offers new possibilities for local authorities and care companies throughout Sweden.

The significant lack of housing for people who, under Sweden’s ‘LSS’ act*, are entitled to housing, is an important social issue. It costs society lots of money and prevents people with disabilities from accessing their right to live securely and with dignity. We want to build as much good sheltered accommodation as possible. To do that we need a long-term strategic partner,

says Robin Berkhuizen.

The key to successful cooperation is often creating a team with someone who helps you develop over the course of the project. That makes goals easier to achieve, makes it more enjoyable and is of greater value for both parties. It’s about creating something greater than the sum of the parts. For Hemfosa, the collaboration with Emrahus is a way of developing properties and managing a vision with the best possible results.

Sheltered accommodation is needed wherever housing, preschools and schools are built. By combining Emrahus’ commitment and innovative housing with Hemfosa’s social responsibility and financial strength, together we can do more and help more people,

says Anna Alsborger at Hemfosa

The passive buildings are designed and constructed as prefabricated units, allowing them to be built in half the time it takes for traditional sheltered accommodation. Thick insulation and adapted ventilation ensure that the buildings are not only low-carbon and energy-efficient, but also very quiet. The indoor climate ensures that the properties are particularly suited to housing for people with disabilities, who can often be highly sensitive to sound and other sensory experiences.

Sheltered accommodation is both a home and a workplace. So the design takes careful account of particularly vulnerable areas in the apartments, such as the bathroom and the hall. Providing both residents and personnel with additional space in these areas significantly reduces the risk of conflict. Security and flexibility are built into the physical environment and digital solutions are used to provide day-to-day support for residents.

The apartments are designed to make it easier for personnel to do a good job and help tenants progress. When their housing provides support, users can make progress, become stronger and more independent – that’s always the goal. I’m proud that we’re involved in creating a residential environment that’s just as good as you or I expect and take for granted,

says Robin Berkhuizen.

*The Swedish Act on Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments