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Bungalow Gives Pensioner New Lease Of Life

A PENSIONER has described how moving into a solar-powered home on a new £900,000 affordable housing development has been like “winning the lottery.”

Freda Hall was delighted when Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) offered her a two-bedroom bungalow on a recently completed new development in Church Square, Brandon.

The 65-year-old widow is thrilled with her new home, which has solar panels to heat the hot water, she says has given her a new lease of life.

“I was previously living in a block of flats but it was very loud and I hated every minute of it, she said.

“When I discovered I had been allocated a new home it was just like winning the lottery. Although I was the first one to move in and the rest of the area was still a building site, I have never slept as well as I did on that first night.

“It is a lovely home and I can’t thank DAMHA enough for helping me.”

Backed by Durham County Council and funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the scheme has provided eight bungalows for older people.

Gordon Gray, Chief Executive of DAMHA, said: “We are delighted that Mrs Hall has settled in so quickly and that we have been able to improve her housing circumstances.

“With an ageing population demand for good quality, spacious, bungalows is high and we will continue to pursue further opportunities to provide new homes for the many older people who, like Mrs Hall, are struggling to cope in their present homes.”

The £938,000 development received £480,000 in funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

“With a welcoming courtyard-style design and green features to keep energy bills down, these homes will be will be an attractive option for older people whose existing homes no longer meet their needs,” said Bill Carr, Area Manager at the HCA.

“Church Square provides opportunities to rent or buy affordable homes through shared ownership.”

The homes were built for the association by Keepmoat Homes and the consultants on the project were the Lumsden Wood Partnership.