Wythenshawe Community Housing Group investing in affordable homes

Wythenshawe Community Housing Group is investing in the future of Wythenshawe and supporting the Homes for Britain campaign by building new homes for residents of Wythenshawe. They recently celebrated the completion of three developments and welcomed new tenants at the following locations:

  • 12 two bedroomed bungalows at Glade Brook Gardens, in Brownley Green
  • 12 two bedroomed and two four-bedroomed bungalows on Scout Drive, Newall Green
  • Six two bedroomed apartments on Altrincham Road, Baguley

Part funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, these homes have been built to the very latest standards in quality, design and efficiency to provide tenants with attractive, safe, secure and comfortable homes.

Local MP for Wythenshawe, Mike Kane, Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive of WCHG and Eddy Newman, Chair of the Board went along to meet with some of the new tenants and welcome them to their new homes.

Simon Sharpe, who moved into a two bed apartment on Altrincham Road when his former flat was identified for demolition, said:

“I am thrilled with my new apartment – it is perfect for me. I work at the Airport so the location is great – and the trams are really handy too.”

Sylvia and Alex Brennan are also delighted with their new bungalow on Glade Brook Gardens: “We needed to downsize from our family home just down the Road. It doesn’t feel like we have down-sized because the rooms are so spacious. I was struggling with the stairs in the house, and although it was a difficult decision to make at the time, it was the right one and the bungalow is perfect for us now.”

It is a similar story for Mary Erskine and David Dennis, who moved into a two bed bungalow on Scout Drive. Mary said” “We absolutely love it! The community spirit is fantastic as we all moved in together. In fact we are having a street party in June to commemorate D-Day with our neighbours in the nearby Johannesburg Gardens community centre. There is such a lot going on – never a dull moment!”

Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive of Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, said: “Building new homes to meet the ever-growing needs of local people is a key priority for us. Since WCHG was formed two years ago, the Group has completed 135 new homes and invested over £13m in the area. We have a new build programme of 496 homes costing £60m between 2015-18, including Village 135 our £20m Extra Care Scheme on Hollyhedge Road/Brownley Road.

“We continue to work with the Homes and Communities Agency to provide a variety of much-needed homes for the people of Wythenshawe.”

North Star Housing Group ranked among UK’s Best Companies to work for

Staff at North Star Housing Group are celebrating after being named as one of The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-for-Profit Organisations to Work For, having been awarded 14th place at a glittering awards ceremony in London this week.

As well as the top 20 accolade, North Star was also awarded Best Companies 3 Star Accreditation – the highest accreditation level available. The rankings and awards are based entirely on employee feedback and identify how employees contribute to their company’s success and growth, setting a benchmark for other employers. The 3 Star Accreditation is only awarded to organisations assessed as ‘extraordinary’.

Group chief executive, Angela Lockwood, said:

“We’re immensely proud to have been awarded 14th place. This is an excellent achievement, especially when you consider the fantastic other companies in the Top 100 List – it’s a tough competition. Every year the prestige of this list builds, making this the competition that every organisation wants to be involved in. North Star staff are passionate about what they do and they take and active role in shaping the future of North Star. This award is testament to their hard work and commitment.”

As well as providing affordable housing across the North East and North Yorkshire, North Star Housing Group has a strong sense of corporate social responsibility, actively supporting and funding local community projects, in order to help local neighbourhoods to develop and become more resilient.

Assistant director of people services, Carole Richardson, said: “We are over the moon with the award. This achievement is testament to the extraordinary levels of engagement and commitment from the people who work at North Star and the Group’s investment in our staff. Our culture is a massive part of what makes us successful. We provide vital services to local people, so it’s essential that staff are involved in influencing our approach and feel positive and empowered in the workplace.”

This is not the first year that North Star has taken part in the Best Companies survey. After securing 1 Star Accreditation in 2011 and 2012, the leap to 3 Stars in 2015 is a great accolade for the Housing Group.

For more information, the full Sunday Times 100 Best Companies list and profiles of each company will be available at www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/best100companies from 15th March.

Regenda turns old factory into affordable new homes

A derelict Cheshire paper factory has been transformed into a stylish new housing development.

The first families have begun moving into West Avenue in Crewe where the Regenda Group housing association has turned an eyesore brownfield site into eye-catching houses and flats.

The properties are being offered at affordable rents, allowing local families to move from poor quality private rented accommodation into modern homes.

Warehouse worker Mike Dean, his partner Natasha Bourne and their two children Liam, aged three and one year-old Skye, were the first to collect the keys to their new home.

“We’ve moved from an old two bed terraced house with a yard to a lovely new three bed house with a garden and still saved money on our rent. It’s a new start for us, somewhere where the children can grow up and the other great thing is we can stay living in the area,” said Mike.

Regenda already manages more than 800 homes either for rent or shared ownership in Cheshire East and hopes to build more in the future.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for housing and jobs, said: “These excellent homes will help meet the needs of the local area. Cheshire East Council is very pleased to have supported this development, which has removed an eyesore of a derelict factory and created affordable, attractive and well-designed homes on a brownfield site.”

The official ceremony to mark the handover of the two three-bedroom houses and six, one and two bedroom flats, was attended by the Mayor of Cheshire East, Cllr Wesley Fitzgerald.

High-spec new homes for Hebburn residents

A dozen elderly residents from South Tyneside are glad to be settling into high specification, highly insulated new bungalows at the coldest time of the year.

The £1.3m Isos development on Derwent Avenue in Hebburn has only recently been completed, with residents able to move into their new homes last month.

Located on the site of the former St. James Church Parish Hall, the new £1.3m development consists of 12 high quality two-bedroom bungalows, which have been built by developer Keepmoat Homes in partnership with South Tyneside Council.

The bungalows meet Level 3 of the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes and include features such as improved insulation in walls, windows and the roof, and recycling and waste management measures. Each bungalow includes car parking and a private rear garden.

The land for development was acquired from the Roman Catholic diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) contributed more than £300,000 of funding towards the new development.

Lea Smith, development and regeneration manager for Isos, said:

“This is a wonderful little scheme located just off the main road with access to major bus routes and a range of small convenience shops nearby. Most of the residents that have moved into Derwent Avenue have re-located from the local area. That means their former homes can be re-let to others in need of high quality housing.”

Ian Prescott, land and partnerships director from developer Keepmoat Homes, said: “We are delighted to have worked in partnership with Isos and South Tyneside Council to deliver these new homes for local people. We know that bungalows of this nature, grouped around small private courtyards and close to local facilities, are in huge demand.

“We were pleased to secure the purchase of the site from the Diocese with whom we have an excellent working relationship. We hope that the residents of the bungalows will be happy and safe in their new homes for many years to come.”

Cllr. Allan West, South Tyneside Council’s lead member for housing and transport, said: “What better way to start the New Year than by getting the keys to a fantastic new property. I’m sure all the residents will be proud to call these bungalows home.

“This development will provide high quality homes to meet the long term needs and aspirations of older people in the borough. The properties have been allocated to households on the Council’s waiting list.”

Refurbished homes offer tenants independent living

Newly refurbished sheltered accommodation offering an independent lifestyle has been officially opened in Leeds.

Ingram Court in Holbeck has benefited from a substantial make-over by sc4L as part of the council’s housing regeneration project.

Built in 1976, the building has now undergone a major transformation to provide 23 modern apartments for over sixties.

Tenants are taking up residence in one of three wheelchair accessible, assisted living two-bedroomed flats, 13 one-bedroomed apartments or seven two-bedroomed flats.

Offering a caring and supportive environment, Ingram Court will help people over 60 maintain an independent lifestyle for as long as possible.

Having officially opened Ingram Court today, Councillor Peter Gruen, executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel, said:

“It’s not just important to provide council housing but housing that supports people’s needs.

“The total remodel of Ingram Court means that we now have a bright, modern, comfortable environment that will give people their independence with the reassurance of help should they need it.

“Central to our housing regeneration project is the drive to improve the lives of local residents which Ingram Court will undoubtedly deliver.”

Jon Hinchliff, sc4L General Manager, said:

“One of the most rewarding aspects of working on a scheme like the housing regeneration project is making a positive difference to the neighbourhoods and communities living here.

“It’s been lovely to welcome residents moving in to Ingram Court and we wish them well in their new home.”

Sean Corcoran, Keepmoat Regional Director, said:

“This has been a very successful scheme for Keepmoat. The complex has had a complete makeover including some of the one bedroomed flats converted into two bedrooms. Externally we have created raised beds to grow vegetables and we look forward to working with the new tenants to produce a full crop.”

Ingram Court’s revised layout now houses 23 self-contained flats that benefit from new kitchens, windows and doors, heating system, roof and newly installed security system. Flexibility is also built in with each flat having a wet floor shower room that can be adapted with a bath and hoist if needed in the future to suit peoples’ needs.

Residents can enjoy the landscaped gardens with raised beds for planting their own vegetables. Inside they can join friends in the communal sitting area or take time out in the quiet room.

The flats at Ingram Court are being let through the Leeds Home scheme. To be considered, you must have an application registered on the Leeds Homes Register and express an interest by placing a bid for an Ingram Court flat.

Leeds City Council are still offering grants of up to 30% toward the costs of capital schemes. For further information email james.kilroy@leeds.gov.uk.