Couple’s ideal bungalow marks milestone for Believe Housing

Feb 8, 2023 | Local News

Leaving their family home after half a century was a wrench for Malcolm and Barbara Clement, until they found the ideal new bungalow with believe housing.

The couple lived in their previous house, in Shildon, County Durham, for 53 years.

But when the time came to get a bungalow, for health reasons, the 73-year-olds found the perfect one in Witton Gilbert, near Durham.

Malcolm, once an open-mic night regular across County Durham and Darlington, said: “In 2014 I discovered I had COPD and might only have two years left.

“I’m a fighter so I looked after my health, got fitter and even walked the Great North Run.

“But it doesn’t go away. I worked in the lift industry, but had to pack in, and Barbara’s had terrible back problems, so we knew it was time for a bungalow.

“For me, this is idyllic, the ideal place to spend the rest of our days together.

“Plus, we can do the housework in four hours now, not four days.”

Barbara said: “It was wrench at first, I’d always felt safe and settled in the old house, but it was too big.

“Our two wonderful daughters and family helped us to move and we’re really happy here, it is wonderful and has been worth it.”

The bungalow, one of four built in Findon Avenue for believe housing, represented a milestone for the County Durham-based housing provider.

In 2015, believe housing set out plans to deliver more than 700 new homes by 2022.

And the Findon Avenue scheme, completed by construction partner Imperator Developments in December, included the 700th.

But believe housing isn’t stopping there.

In 2021, it increased its initial pledge and announced plans to provide more than 2,000 new homes across the region by 2026.

Kate Abson, believe housing’s Director of Development, said: “It was a real achievement to meet that initial commitment, particularly after a few challenging years, and we appreciate the support of all those involved.

“Our new properties are making a real difference to existing and new customers, providing them with a fantastic energy efficient home which meets theirs and their family’s needs.

“It is wonderful to see customers, like Malcolm and Barbara, feeling happy in a home that suits them.

“In the coming years, we’ll remain focused on delivering our ambitious new-build programme, maximising the availability of high-quality affordable homes for those who truly need them in communities across our area.”