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huge demand for village homes

Nearly 30 homes designed to help people in east Durham onto the property ladder have been snapped up within hours of reservations opening.

The m!ne ‘Rent to Buy’ houses are being constructed on the site of a long-demolished working men’s club in Easington Village by believe housing. The 29 high-spec two, three and four-bedroom family homes were all reserved just days after they were released for reservation.

Development Manager at believe housing, Tom Winter, said: “We thought that these homes would be popular, but we had no idea of just how strong the demand would be. This is the biggest rent to buy project we’ve created so far, and it’s also been the quickest we’ve ever reached full reservation.

“We’re already looking at how we can accelerate the next phase in an effort to meet the demand that obviously exists. Hopefully many of the families who missed out this time around won’t have too long to wait for another chance to reserve their ideal new home.

“Easington Village is becoming a very popular location. These homes will be at the heart of the community, transforming this site and making great places to live.

“For many people in the north east, rent to buy is the easiest and most attainable way to get onto the property ladder. It brings together the best parts of home ownership and affordable living into one package.”

They are part of a 96-home development on the Seaside Lane site which commenced in September and is being delivered by main contractor, Esh Construction. The £11m project will also see a new public open space at the heart of the new community, creating a ‘village green’ feel.

The government backed ‘Rent to Buy’ scheme is intended to help tackle the housing crisis. Rent to Buy is designed to ease the transition from renting to buying a home by offering a reduced rent, usually around 20% below the market rate. The aim is to give people the opportunity to save for a deposit at the same time and buy their home after five years.

Alongside the 29 rent to buy homes already marketed under believe housing’s m!ne brand, a mix of bungalows and houses will also be available at an affordable rent. The first families are expected to move in later this year.

Laura Devaney, Head of Land & Partnerships at Esh Construction, said: “The demand for well-built, affordable housing in locations such as Easington is clearly evident. As ever, quality of design has been at the forefront of this project and the result is incredibly desirable family homes. The success of this scheme is a testament to the collaborative working of all parties involved, including Homes England and the local authority. We would like to thank believe housing for being the perfect partner and it gives us great satisfaction to help them deliver against their ambitious programme.

“In addition, we are proud of the benefits that this scheme continues to bring the local community by maximising social and economic benefit through procurement of a local supply chain and employing a local workforce.”

The Seaside Lane project is just part of believe housing’s multi-award-winning programme of new-build home construction. The Seaham-based housing association is on track to deliver more than 750 new affordable homes by 2022 in communities stretching from the Durham coast to rural Weardale.

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