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.”
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com.
The free course is the latest in a series of training opportunities open to all County Durham Housing Group tenants.
A Peterlee training course aims to help social housing tenants improve their mental wellbeing and take steps towards a new career or qualifications.
The free Mental Wellbeing Awareness course, being run by County Durham Housing Group in partnership with Wellbeing for Life, will help improve understanding and tackle stigma around mental health.
The four-week long programme will take place at Eden Hill Outreach Centre from Monday, 8 January 2018 between 9.30am to 12.30pm, and will provide useful techniques to understand the impacts of stress and how to build resilience.
It will also help everyone attending identify the signs of different conditions, gain a basic understanding of what poor mental health is, and discover how best to support people to improve their wellbeing.
County Durham Housing Group Training Officer, Sean Robson, said: “This course will help anyone, regardless of their background, to learn about mental health and wellbeing in a useful and practical way.”
More information on the Mental Wellbeing Awareness training is available from Sean Robson at County Durham Housing Group on 0191 349 7753 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The free course is the latest in a series of training opportunities open to all County Durham Housing Group tenants.