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Rural homes boost is ‘life-changing’ for father-of-two Lee

Fri 29 June 2018

Scores of people on the housing register are moving into new modern homes thanks to a housing association’s plan to make rural housing affordable.

The 22 properties are now available at an affordable rent at Colne Housing’s £2.9 million development off Colchester Road, Halstead.

All homes have been allocated to local people on Braintree District Council’s housing register.

Father of two Lee Mobley, 40, had been ‘sofa surfing’ for two months, before he moved into a spacious one bedroom apartment.

He said: “For two years I was homeless due to a relationship breakdown. To have my own home again is tremendous, it means I can start thinking about the future. At last I have a place my two daughters can come and visit and am now able to get back to work. It is life-changing. It is home.”

The development, which was funded by Colne and created in partnership with Iceni Homes and Braintree District Council, includes one and two-bedroom apartments, terraced houses and semi’s, as well as one three-bedroom detached bungalow, adapted for customers with limited mobility.

They are on the 103-home development by Bellway on the former Central Park industrial site off Colchester Road..

Councillor Lynette Bowers-Flint, Braintree District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, said: “We are always pleased to work in partnership with Colne Housing. This development opportunity meets one of our main priorities - to provide local residents with much-needed affordable housing.  We are committed to continue working with residents and partners, building more well-designed homes for affordable rent in our district.”

Colne’s Chief Executive Sara Thakkar said: “There is a desperate shortage of affordable properties across rural areas in the Eastern region and Halstead is no different.

“We are therefore extremely pleased to have partnered with Iceni Homes and Braintree District Council to build these much-needed local homes to local people.”

The news comes in Rural Housing Week (July 2-6), a national initiative which aims to shine a light on how affordable housing can breathe life into rural communities.

Colne is a 3,000-home housing association which provides a range of housing solutions in Essex and Suffolk to enable independent living.

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Rural homes boost is ‘life-changing’ for father-of-two Lee

Father of two Lee Mobley with his eldest daughter Siobhan

Rural homes boost is ‘life-changing’ for father-of-two Lee

New Colne homes in Halstead

Rural homes boost is ‘life-changing’ for father-of-two Lee

Lee Mobley with Colne's Clare Bennett

Rural homes boost is ‘life-changing’ for father-of-two Lee

Suzanne Newman, of Iceni Homes, Colne's Sara Thakkar, David Steel and Cllr Lynette Bowers-flint, of Braintree District Council.

Rural homes boost is ‘life-changing’ for father-of-two Lee

New homes in Halstead