New homes help Seaham mother put down roots in the town she grew up in

Feb 21, 2019 | Local News

The first of more than 50 new homes in Seaham have already helped a new mother put down roots in the area where she grew up.

A brand-new two-bed home has helped Emma Davison find a comfortable and affordable way to bring up her daughter close to family and friends. The two-bedroom house in Heathway has been created by County Durham Housing Group, and is one of 56 affordable homes being built in the Parkside area of Seaham.

Emma was living with her mother, just five minutes away, when her daughter was born in August, but was looking for an affordable place of her own. She found out about the new homes by word of mouth and quickly put a bid in for the property.

Emma said: “I was really keen on these homes because they were brand-new, affordable and I know the area. There were at least 13 other people who made a bid for the home, so I was really pleased to get it.

“It’s lovely here. It’s really quiet, I’ve even seen squirrels in the back garden.”

After settling in quickly with her daughter Rosa, Emma has been telling her friends and family about how much she is enjoying her new place.

“The process was good, and quite quick. I’ve already recommended County Durham Housing Group to a friend and to my brother, who is looking to move out of a private rented home.” Emma added.

The first affordable homes completed in Heathway were acquired by County Durham Housing Group following an agreement with Keepmoat Homes. Emma’s is one of four houses that were completed to a high standard in late 2018 and have now all welcomed their first tenants. A further four houses for County Durham Housing Group are due to be completed later in 2019.

County Durham Housing Group is also constructing 48 new affordable homes on a larger site opposite Emma’s new home. The project, which is now underway, will see 16 two-bedroom wheelchair adaptable bungalows, a pair of three-bedroom bungalows and 30 three-bedroom family houses. Once completed, many of the homes will be available for affordable rent, with the remainder being offered under the government-backed ‘Rent to Buy’ scheme.

Rent to Buy is a government scheme designed to ease the transition from renting to buying a home by providing subsidised rent; usually around 20% below the market rate.

County Durham Housing Group is constructing 545 new affordable homes on 20 sites stretching from the coast to rural Weardale. The £54m project passed the 100 homes mark late last year and construction is currently taking place on sites in Peterlee, Bowburn and Bishop Auckland as well as Seaham.

County Durham Housing Group Development Manager, Tom Winter, said: “It’s great to see that Emma and Rosa are settling in so well. When we’re talking about 545 new homes it’s easy to focus on the bricks and mortar. But every new property completed means a new home for a local family, like this one.

“There’s a really strong demand for affordable homes in Seaham so we’re looking forward to helping more families into new homes once our latest construction project is complete.”