‘Beautiful’ new council bungalows are ‘the best thing that could have happened to us’

Residents living in new bungalows built by City of York Council, are delighted with their quality and being able to live independently in their own communities.

The five, one-bedroomed homes at Cheltenham Court, Acomb, are now finished and are being let to tenants at social rents. Designed and built with generous space and high levels of energy-saving measures, they offer lower fuel bills and higher levels of comfort. They are also able to be adapted to meet the tenants’ changing needs.

Julie and Jules Barber moved into their brand new bungalow just before the coronavirus lockdown started. “I’ve a number of health problems and was finding that the stairs in our old home were very difficult,” said Julie. “Our occupational therapist referred us for one of these bungalows and moving here has been the best thing that could have happened to us.

“Now, we’ve no stairs but we’ve got a wet room which is so much easier for me, we are just around the corner from where we lived for 26 years and I’ve no worries at all. It’s a beautiful bungalow: so peaceful and with lovely neighbours. I can’t thank the council enough.”

One of Julie’s neighbours who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I’ve not seen such high-quality design, build and interior finishes for years: this deserves an award!

“The bungalows have been designed really well. I can’t believe how spacious they are, the number of sockets fitted, and the storage: I’ve more here than I had in my old three-bedroomed house.

“The attention to detail carries on into the outside space with high-quality raised beds and benches. This communal area creates a real feel-good factor which will help bring the community together. The council has raised the bar here.”

To support tenants with different needs, two of the bungalows are fully wheelchair-accessible, and have features including kitchen surfaces which can be raised or lowered and reinforced ceiling joists which can hold hoists if required.

The tenants are being offered technology to enable them to live independently and safely. Depending on their needs, this could include sensors which indicate activity and movement, levels of heat, noise and light in a home, and sensors to prevent falls or alert people if there is a medical emergency and support people in keeping safe at night. These systems can link directly to carers, or family or friends and offer reassurance for both the residents and the people who support them.

The bungalows have south-facing patios overlooking historic Hob Moor nature reserve and stray, and are built around an attractive new open space, landscaped with raised beds and benches for tenants to enjoy. A community event to introduce the new tenants to their neighbours at Newbury Avenue is being arranged when it is safe to do so.

Councillor Denise Craghill, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods, said: “I’m delighted that Mr and Mrs Barber and their neighbours are comfortable and happy, and that these high-quality homes are available to eligible tenants.

“These much-needed, accessible bungalows at Cheltenham Court are a very worthwhile repurposing of an underused council-owned garage site. Those planned as part of our Housing Delivery Programme will be welcome additions across the city.”

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “Built as part of our Older Person’s Accommodation Programme, accessible bungalows will support present and future generations of tenants to live independently for as long as possible, which is what they have told us they want to do.

“As is the case with Mr and Mrs Barber, the new tenants can remain in their community and enjoy the company and support of family and friends, while maintaining their own independence as far as possible.”

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