Residents living in new purpose-built bungalows in Longhill welcomed dignitaries to an Afternoon Tea party in their street when the development was officially opened.
David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, visited Hull on Monday, July 6 to officially open Pickering and Ferens Homes’ bungalows in Weaver Grove and Larne Road, east Hull.
The development was made possible by £585,000 of funding from the Department of Health (DoH) and features a central communal area, providing opportunities for residents to live independently, whilst also being able to access a wider network of support services and opportunities to socialise.
The DoH’s Care and Support specialised housing fund, which was announced in December 2012, recognised a shortfall of housing which enabled vulnerable people to live independently.
The new residents at the development, along with key stakeholders, were treated to Afternoon Tea when the Official Opening event took place and David Orr enjoyed a cup of tea with residents as well as a tour inside their new homes.
Pickering and Ferens Homes, in partnership with Hull City Council, is proud to be playing a key role in the provision of housing for the over-60s. The development, designed by Hull-based architects Gammond Evans Crichton and built by Hull firm Hobson and Porter, places emphasis on providing accessible living within an established community.
Claire Warren, Chief Executive of Pickering and Ferens Homes, said: “The last year has been very exciting for Pickering and Ferens Homes, with significant developments coming forward allowing us to expand our portfolio and meet the rapidly-increasing demand for purpose-built housing for people in later life.
“Projects like this one are important in not only addressing the national housing shortage, but also in ensuring the shortage of accessible properties built on one level is met. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a development like Longhill come to fruition and to see residents enjoying their homes – for many of them, these bungalows have been life changing.
“This year is already proving to be very positive for Pickering and Ferens Homes and we are looking forward to continuing to work closely with our residents to ensure the decisions that we make are closely linked to their diverse needs.”
David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “Having spoken to some of the residents in Longhill, it’s clear to see that they are delighted by the quality of their homes, which are high quality and affordable.
“There are some people within government who believe we have too many housing associations, but Pickering and Ferens Homes demonstrates that if you have experience and commitment a housing association can make a real difference to the quality of people’s lives.”
Councillor John Black, ward councillor for Longhill and a trustee of Pickering and Ferens Homes, said: “I am very grateful to David Orr for taking the time to come to Hull to officially open our Longhill development and it was fantastic to see that he was so impressed with the quality of our homes.
“The new bungalows, which are welcomed and much needed by the local community, are designed and built to the usual Pickering and Ferens Homes standard.
“They are the first two bedroom bungalows to be built in Longhill and the surrounding areas and I am very aware of the difference an additional bedroom can make to residents’ lives when they need a relative or carer to stay with them during poor health, or even to have the space for grandchildren staying with them.”
The official opening comes hot on the heels of Pickering and Ferens Homes residents campaigning for the national housing shortage to be addressed when they took part in the National Housing Federation’s Homes for Britain Relay to the Rally. The rally saw everything from buses and bikes through to running shoes and walking boots hit the road to Westminster.
Many parts of Yorkshire and Humber are in desperate need of regeneration. With almost 28,000 empty properties, Yorkshire and Humber suffers from almost double the proportion of long-term empty homes as the South East.
Yorkshire and Humber is not building enough new homes to keep up with demand. Over the next 20 years 369,000 households are expected to form in the region. At current building rates that would leave a shortfall of over 200,000 homes by 2031.