16 families in Midsomer Norton will celebrate Christmas in brand new homes this year, thanks to the completion of a 100% affordable housing development by housing association and housebuilder Curo and contractor E G Carter & Co Ltd.
Pictured above (R-L): Curo Chief Executive, Victor da Cunha, Town Mayor Michael Evans, ward councillor for Midsomer Norton Redfield, Paul Myers, and Curo Deputy Managing Director, Sarah Maylor, with the new residents at St Chad's Green, Midsomer Norton
Curo has last week welcomed residents at its regeneration scheme of 16 new affordable homes at St Chad’s Green in Midsomer Norton. The occasion was marked with a Christmas lights switch-on ceremony attended by the new residents, Town Mayor Michael Evans and ward councillor for Midsomer Norton Redfield, Paul Myers.
Construction of the 15 homes with two, three and four bedrooms and a one-bed flat started in February this year; all homes are now occupied, with 12 being let on affordable rent and 4 sold through the low cost homeownership scheme, Shared Ownership.
Curo Chief Executive, Victor da Cunha, says: “It’s fantastic to see the new residents move to high quality, safe and secure homes in time for Christmas and we wish them a very warm welcome.
“This scheme is a great example of how housing associations can address the changing housing needs of an area by working in partnership with local authorities and central government.”
The new homes were created in partnership with Homes England and Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES) who provided grant funding of £480,000 and £200,000 respectively, topping up Curo’s investment of almost £2 million.
Councillor Tim Ball, Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, welcomed the new development saying “I am delighted that the Council was able to help Curo deliver these much needed homes in Midsomer Norton through the use of our Affordable Housing capital funding. The delivery of affordable homes is a key priority for the Council and we are particularly pleased when a housing association like Curo can bring forward developments that are 100% affordable housing”.
Ward Councillor for Midsomer Norton Redfield, Paul Myers, has been involved in the development since its inception and says: "It’s great to meet the new residents and see how providing good quality affordable homes in the right locations can positively impact the community and people’s lives. The families I’ve met today will benefit from these modern new homes well into the future.”
Amongst the new residents are Laura Prior, her partner Sam and five children. They’ve been living in temporary accommodation for 18 months before moving to a four-bedroom detached home at St Chad’s Green.
Laura says: “We were living in a two-bed flat with five children - it was very hard work. Our new home is absolutely lovely and it feels like a mansion in comparison. We’re all looking forward to enjoying our garden - the kids are overwhelmed with the space they have to play in.”
Pictured above: Father Christmas handing presents to some of Curo's youngest new residents at St Chad's Green, Misdomer Norton
Elizabeth is a teacher. She lived in Midsomer Norton all her life and her son goes to a local school; they moved to a new two-bed home at St Chad’s Green.
Elizabeth says: “My little boy and I feel really blessed and lucky to move in a house like this. We’ve always lived in this area, we love it here and it’s amazing that we now have a place where we can stay for the long term and put down roots, the secure tenancy means a lot to us.”
Daniel Young is one of the new shared owners at St Chad’s Green. He’s 32 years old and works as a machine operator for a local company producing medical packages. Daniel has been living with his parents just up the road from the new development, saving up for a deposit to buy a place of his own. He says: “It’s absolutely fantastic that Curo have built these homes here. It enabled me to stay close to my parents if they need me, but also to invest in my own future, get on the property ladder and have my independence.
“I think young people today have to make a lot of sacrifices to be able to buy a home, especially if they choose to do so on their own - Shared Ownership is a great way of taking that first step on the housing ladder. I look forward to inviting my friends around for the local cricket club’s New Year’s Eve firework display – I now have the best view in town from my back garden.”
Sarah is also local to Midsomer Norton and purchased a new 2-bed home at St Chad’s Green with Shared Ownership. She says: “I moved back home eight years ago to save up after renting privately for quite a long time. To finally be in a home of my own feels pretty amazing and I’m absolutely elated with it – best Christmas present anyone could wish for.”
Alongside new homes, the regeneration project also enabled Curo to deliver enhancements for two existing bungalows at St Chad's Green, with the provision of dedicated parking and solar panels, benefiting existing customers.
Pictured above: Curo Chief Executive, Victor da Cunha (left) with some of the new residents at St Chad's Green, Midsomer Norton