‘It’s a dream come true’: Family-of-five sharing one bedroom in lockdown now have a house in new £8m estate

Reporter: Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter
Date published: 04 June 2021

An affordable home in a new £7.9m development in Oldham is a ‘dream come true’ for a family stuck sharing one bedroom through lockdown.

Housing association First Choice Homes Oldham has taken possession of all houses in the newly built Suthers Court estate in north Werneth, offering affordable homes to families in the borough.

The development is split between nine two-bedroom, 25 three-bedroom and 11 four-bedroom homes and are all available for affordable rent.

Resident Forida Begum is among those to have got the keys for a new home at the scheme.

After waiting for a property that meets her family’s needs, she says she is now looking forward to a brighter future.

“We were terribly overcrowded before, with my husband, three children and myself sharing just one bedroom,” she said.

“It was a struggle without space and privacy, especially during the lockdowns recently, and it affected us all badly.

“When I found out I’d got this home it was a dream come true.

"It will make such a big difference to us and I can’t wait to move in.”

The housing estate is First Choice’s third biggest site to date and is part of the housing assoication’s plans to provide 850 affordable, high quality homes in the borough and surrounding area by 2026.

Work on Suthers Court began in November 2019 by the association’s construction partner Keepmoat.

Joel Owen, First Choice’s director of development, said: “This development is a significant investment in our housing stock and the project team has overcome unprecedented challenges during the pandemic to safely deliver a range of much needed high-quality homes that will help meet local housing need.

“We’re pleased to have partnered with a house builder which shares our vision of creating excellent properties which are fit for the future and improve lives and I hope Forida and all our other customers are very happy here.”

First Choice has plans to deliver more than 90 new homes in the year to April 2022.

It is in the process of securing opportunities to provide more homes and work is already underway at sites across Oldham and Rochdale.

Developments include High Barn Phase two in Royton, Hillside Nursery in Sholver, Cherry Ave in Alt; and Phoenix Ironworks in Littleborough.

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