7 February 2017

Families have been moving into newly built council houses as part of Sheffield City Council’s work to provide an extra 1,000 council homes.

The 51 family homes in Manor and Darnall have been built to the national Lifetime Homes standard and are able to be adapted in future if people need through-floor lifts, downstairs wet-rooms and other mobility aids. They also have solar panels and heat recovery systems to keep running costs down. Eight properties have also been designed specifically for wheelchair users.

The new homes are part of the council’s plans to build or buy 1,000 extra council homes by 2021 to increase the choice and availability of high quality affordable housing. At the same time, the authority is investing £300m into council homes to improve kitchens and bathrooms and help residents save money by improving insulation, heating and roofs.

Mother of four, Sarah Raynes, was one of the first tenants to move into the new homes on Ouseburn Road in Darnall with her disabled husband and four children. She said: “We’re really impressed with the space here. The boys love it and they’re looking forward to getting out in the garden. My husband uses a wheelchair and it’s great to know that, as his condition is likely to deteriorate, the house can be adapted more to his needs. There’s a point for a stair-lift to be fitted and even the option of a through floor lift should he need one.

“My boys have autism and they were all in one room before. They don’t sleep that well and things were pretty colourful. It was exhausting. It’s the space that’s we’re most impressed with and our daughter is loving her bigger bedroom.”

Sheffield’s Housing and Neighbourhood Advisory Panel, which is made up of council tenants who scrutinise the council’s housing work, have also given the thumbs up to the new homes. Christine Lupton, panel member, said: “The council wanted to build homes that people want to live in and I think they’ve achieved it.

“The homes have been designed really thoughtfully and there’s a good mix of housing. We were particularly impressed with the homes built specially for disabled people with things like lower work surfaces and electric windows.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Housing at Sheffield City Council, said: “The new council homes are brilliant. They’re really good quality and have been built to last. I hope people will be very happy living here.

“Nationally, there’s a massive challenge to provide affordable housing and we’re doing everything we can to tackle this in Sheffield. I’m proud that we’re one of the few local authorities that has continued to build new council housing.”

Sheffield City Council is over a third of the way toward its target of 1,000 extra council homes, having acquired 301 properties in addition to these 51 new build homes.

Community regeneration specialist Keepmoat built the new homes on behalf of Sheffield City Council over a 46 week period.

Nathan Brough, Regional Director at Keepmoat, said: “We are really pleased to be able to celebrate the completion of Ouseburn Road in Darnall and Scotia Drive on the Manor estate with our partners Sheffield City Council. Both developments have been completed to a very high standard to ensure that they support the needs of the families living in them. We hope that the residents will be very happy in their new homes.

“Here at Keepmoat, it’s not just about bricks and mortar. These quality developments have also created three apprenticeships, one traineeship and one work experience opportunity, as well as using local labour wherever possible.”