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Work Starts On New Consett Affordable Housing Scheme

WORK has begun to transform a former allotment site into a new £2.8 million affordable housing development.

Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA), in partnership with Durham County Council and specialist affordable housing contractor Dunelm Property Services, is building 24 bungalows on a disused allotment site at Steel Street, Consett.

With the help of funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the association is spending a total of £2.8 million on the development, which is scheduled for completion in December 2011.

The development of two-bedroom properties will be allocated to elderly people on Durham County Council’s housing waiting lists. The sale of the site is allowing the council to provide replacement allotments at nearby Blackhill

Gordon Gray, Chief Executive of DAMHA, said: “We are delighted to be starting work on this development, which will provide 24 much-needed homes for the older people close to Consett town centre.

“DAMHA has a long track record of providing high quality affordable homes for those people in the greatest housing need and with an ageing population the demand for bungalows of this nature is very high.”

Stephen Francis, Managing Director of Dunelm Property Services explained: “These are great new homes for DAMHA’s residents in Consett.  They will be easy and cost effective to run as they are being built to Code 3 standard.  This means they are extremely energy efficient, due to the high insulation levels and renewable energy generation sources being installed.

“This is the third scheme which we are building for DAMHA in the area; we’ve completed 10 bungalows at The Grange in Bowburn and 10 at St Helen Auckland and we’re delighted to now be on site at Consett.”

Bill Carr, Homes and Communities Agency Area Manager, said: “Warm, secure and modern homes can make a huge difference in retirement years. The Steel Street scheme will bring more eco-friendly living in a convenient location, as well as providing a boost to the local area.”

Clive Robson, Durham County Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “In these difficult times for housing it’s really great for me as a local member and the portfolio holder for housing to see a development of new bungalows for affordable rent being built.

“We have worked with DAMHA on a number of developments in the county and I have always been impressed by the quality of the new homes they provide and how energy efficient they are.”