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Open day for available homes in Coundon with CDHG

Published: Friday 13 April 2018
Open day for available homes in Coundon with CDHG

House hunters are being invited to an open day for immediately available properties in Coundon by one of the region’s largest social landlords.

County Durham Housing Group is opening the doors to a two-bed property in Eden Close to highlight the variety of affordable homes available immediately.

The show-home has been fully-furnished for the open day, which takes place from noon until 5.30pm on Tuesday, 17 April. The group has a wide variety or properties available in Coundon ranging from bungalows and flats to three-bedroom family homes.

The event is intended to give home seekers the chance to discuss available properties face-to-face with officers from the group, and find out how they could potentially get the keys to a new home within one day. 

County Durham Housing Group Head of Housing Operations, Simon Bartlett said: “Many people looking for a new home don’t think to look at social housing. There’s a misconception that you have to go on a waiting list and wait ages for a property; and that you have to be on benefits to qualify. This isn’t the case.

“We’ve got a huge variety of different types of home right across the county. It doesn’t matter if you’re in work, whether you’re single or have a family; there’s a very good chance that we’ll have a property suitable for you.

“And because we’re a social landlord, we can offer very affordable rent, with no need for a bond. We’ll provide help and support to help people move in and offer much more security than is available in the private sector.”

Eden Close is located within easy reach of the centre of Coundon. It is also close to good transport links to Bishop Auckland and the surrounding area, as well as having a range of local amenities and schools on the doorstep.

More information on the event is available at, by calling 0800 083 0333, or emailing

Work starts on new affordable homes in St Helens Auckland

Published: Monday 29 January 2018
Work starts on new affordable homes in St Helens Auckland

Construction of four new bungalows specifically designed to be adaptable for wheelchair users has begun in the heart of St Helens Auckland.

The two-bedroom bungalows are being built for County Durham Housing Group on a vacant site in Davis Avenue and are due for completion by summer 2018. All four homes will be available for affordable rent.

Featuring the latest standards in heating and insulation, the bungalows will provide substantial savings for tenants; particularly when compared to older, private rented properties.

The new homes are part of a £30m project bringing additional affordable homes to County Durham. A total of 300 new homes will be created on 17 sites for County Durham Housing Group by 2020. The investment is also creating hundreds of jobs and apprenticeships, supporting the local economy.

County Durham Housing Group Development Manager, Tom Winter, said: "This may seem like a small development, but these new homes are allowing us to meet a very specific demand for accessible and affordable homes in the St Helens area.

"The bungalows are part of our ongoing plans to build the right homes in the right places to support communities and improve lives."

Construction work on the new homes in Davis Avenue is being carried out by long-established Bishop Auckland based firm T Manners & Sons. Wayne Harris, Contracts Manager at T Manners, said, “I started as an apprentice joiner with T Manners in the 1980’s and worked on many similar projects building affordable homes for local people. It’s great to be involved again in such a worthwhile development. I hope we can continue to work with County Durham Housing Group, providing more affordable homes in the area.”

Weardale village ends 50 year wait for new affordable homes

Published: Tuesday 23 January 2018
Weardale village ends 50 year wait for new affordable homes

The first new social housing in the remote village of Rookhope for over 50 years has been completed, as part of a £30m project bringing affordable homes to County Durham.

A pair of two-bed bungalows in the heart of Rookhope have been officially handed over to County Durham Housing Group. The new homes are the first new social housing of any kind in the upper-Weardale community, which has a population of fewer than 300 people, since the post-war era.

The bungalows, on Boltsburn Crescent, are also the first of 300 new purpose-built affordable homes being constructed on 17 sites between now and 2020 by County Durham Housing Group.

County Durham Housing Group Chief Executive, Bill Fullen, said: “We hear lots of talk about the housing crisis in big cities, but affordable housing is just as much of an issue in a small rural village like Rookhope.

“These bungalows might seem like a drop in the ocean to some. But to the families who will be able to live in this village, they will mean everything.

“I can’t imagine the circumstances where a private investor would be able to deliver a project like this, which the community wanted and knew that there was demand for. But, this is exactly the type of project where County Durham Housing Group can come into its own.”

The bungalows feature high levels of insulation, the latest heating systems powered by solar panels, and double glazing. They are expected to bring big savings to tenants when compared with older homes in the village.  Demand for modern bungalows in Rookhope is high as most properties date back to the area’s lead and ironstone mining heyday, well over 100 years ago.

County Durham Housing Group is one of the region’s largest providers of affordable housing. Alongside the new properties in Rookhope, the group’s £30m new-build programme is creating new homes in communities like Pity Me, Bowburn, Crook and Seaham. As well as traditional affordable rent, construction is delivering ‘Rent to Buy’ homes, which will help hard-working families take their first step on to the property ladder.

The programme is also expected to create around 100 new jobs and apprenticeships. Construction at Rookhope was undertaken by Bishop Auckland based contractor T. Manners & Sons, further supporting the Weardale economy.

Simon Manners, Joint MD at T Manners & Sons Ltd and the fifth generation of his family to run the 157 year-old business commented: “It has been a real pleasure to work with County Durham Housing Group and deliver affordable homes in Rookhope. Our craftspeople are all locals to the county and so it feels special to be involved in this much needed project. We are pleased to be continuing our relationship with the group, building more bungalows at West Auckland and hope to do more in the future.”

Rookhope, which sits high in Weardale above Stanhope, was a busy centre for the buoyant lead and ironstone mining industries until the early 20th century. Once known as Boltsburn, the village expanded greatly to serve the industry; criss-crossed by railways and dominated by chimneys. Nowadays the peaceful village is perhaps best known for its position at the foot of the fearsome Bolts Law incline on the popular Coast to Coast cycle route from Cumbria to the north east.

Free English and maths training in Bishop Auckland

Published: Friday 12 January 2018
Free English and maths training in Bishop Auckland

A new course that will help residents of Woodhouse Close and the surrounding villages to boost their English and maths skills has been announced.

The 10-week course, organised by County Durham Housing Group, has been designed to boost employment skills for everyone taking part, as well as making everyday life easier.

Starting on Wednesday, January 24 the Level 2 course will cover subjects including CV and letter writing, essential maths, and money management. The training will take place at Auckland Youth and Community Centre in Woodhouse Close from 9am to 4.30pm and is free to anyone who is a County Durham Housing Group customer looking for work.

Despite being delivered to Level 2 standard, no previous experience is necessary and teaching is carried out by highly-qualified tutors in small groups and at a learners’ own speed. 

County Durham Housing Group Community Training Coordinator, Sean Robson, said: “English and maths skills are vital in the workplace and in everyday life. This course not only offers practical skills, it also gives a nationally recognised qualification that employers will be looking for on applications.

“The course is free and is designed for people who might not be particularly confident in these areas. And the skills learned will genuinely make a huge impact on people’s lives.”

This course is the latest in a series of training and educational opportunities being offered by County Durham Housing Group, one of the region’s largest providers of affordable housing.

More information, and enrolment details, are available from Sean Robson on 0191 349 7753 or

New course to cook up success

Published: Monday 8 January 2018

A new training course aims to improve cooking skills and provide tips on healthy eating.

The free ‘Practical Cooking’ course, being run by County Durham Housing Group, in partnership with Wellbeing for Life will offer lots of practical advice on getting more food from a limited budget and eating a healthy diet.

The four-week programme, starting on Wednesday, 10 January at Seascape Children’s Centre on Ellison Road, Peterlee, will discuss batch cooking and storing food to create more meals from the same ingredients.

There’ll also be a chance to learn how to fake a takeaway, with healthier alternatives prepared at home.

County Durham Housing Group Training Officer, Sean Robson, said: “We all have to eat, but the hectic world we live in can often fall into the trap of spending more than we should on unhealthy food.

“This course will help change that. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or a large family, you’ll be able to pick up lots of useful ideas.”

More information on the Practical Cooking course is available from Sean Robson at County Durham Housing Group on 0191 349 7753 or

The free course is the latest in a series of training opportunities open to all County Durham Housing Group tenants.