Tenants move into Poole's new efficient council houses
This week, tenants started moving into the first new council homes to be built in Poole for more than 20 years.
The first family, Rebecca Lemmard and her two children, received the keys to their three-bedroom terraced house in Bearwood from the mayor, councillor Peter Adams. They told the Bournemouth Echo that they were delighted with the new home.
"It's absolutely lovely, I never thought I would have a place like this," said Rebecca, who works as a carer. She had been sleeping on the sofa in a two-bedroom privately rented accommodation for the past year.
Borough of Poole has invested £1 million to build the new family homes, working with Poole Housing Partnership (PHP) and construction firm CG Fry and Son. So far, six houses have been completed and two more are nearly finished.
Each of the homes have been fitted with plenty of energy efficiency measures, all designed to help keep the energy bill down. Each house has plenty of thermal insulation, as well as an air-source heat pump to help keep the property warm. Ms Lemmard says her new home will cost less to rent and heat than she was previously paying.
Councillor Adams said that the most important thing was that a new family now has a lovely place to live, provided by the council.
Joe Logan, chief executive of PHP indicated that he was very proud of the project, saying that the homes set a new standard for council-rented properties in Poole.
"Built to a high specification and featuring state-of-the-art energy efficient measures, the homes have been developed with a sustainable future very much in mind," he said.
Mr Logan added that this project is 'just the start' to a programme to bring more affordable housing to the region.
Councillor David Brown, who represents Merley and Bearwood, explained that the new homes also served as regeneration of a previously unused area. "There were derelict garages and we have lost a bit of green space - but six families have lovely new homes," he said.