£8.5m investment programme to improve more than 600 affordable homes confirmed

Jul 28, 2020 | Local News

More than 600 affordable homes across County Durham are in line for major improvements as part of a massive programme by believe housing.

Streets in Bishop Auckland, Horden and Seaham are among those set to benefit from the £8.5m investment during the 2020/21 financial year. Work was held up by the coronavirus pandemic but is now due to start on the first homes imminently.

The project is part of a 10-year, £138m programme of improvement work for existing believe housing homes. Each home receives a tailored package of upgrades to bring roofs and insulation, kitchens, bathrooms or electrical wiring up to the latest standards. The completed homes will be cheaper for tenants to heat and run.

One of the areas to benefit extensively will be Woodhouse Close in Bishop Auckland. Streets including Aclet Close, Archer Avenue, Brooklands, Cheesmond Avenue, Crawford Close, Douthwaite Road, Farndale Square and Gudmunsen Avenue will see the upgrades. Work is expected to include new roofs, fascias, and improvements to insulation. Some homes are also set to receive new fencing and repairs to paths.

On the opposite side of County Durham, 69 homes in Seaham, 40 in Horden and 38 in Wingate are also set to receive upgrades to their roofs and other work to make them easier to heat and maintain.

Executive Director of Communities and Customer Services at believe housing, Nik Turner, said: “This investment is great for residents because it provides a massive upgrade to their homes. But it’s also great for the local economy. The majority of the workforce is local and it’s ensuring jobs at a time when that’s probably never been more important.

“We can’t wait to get started with this year’s work. Obviously we’ll be taking great care to ensure the safety of everyone as the coronavirus pandemic continues to subside. The team will be talking to each customer individually to make sure that everyone is comfortable with the extra precautions we’re taking.”

believe housing’s improvement programme is designed to ensure high-quality affordable housing provision in communities stretching from rural Weardale to the Durham coast. The whole refurbishment project is being carried out in partnership with strategic partner Engie.