• 03 December 2020
  • News,

Work is underway on a micro-community that will provide much-needed homes for people living with disabilities in Sunderland.

Ground has been broken on a second Sunderland City Council-led development, this time at Albert Place in Washington.  Four new fully adapted bungalows, designed for people with physical disabilities, are set to rise from the ground, helping to meet the needs of residents across the city.

The smart homes, which will make use of cutting-edge technology to enable residents to live independently, are set to be completed by summer next year, with Tolent now on-site leading construction.

This latest Sunderland City Council scheme follows the start of work on homes in Cork Street, Hendon, the council’s first step into building new properties for 40 years.  In Hendon, the council is developing 17 affordable bungalows, 16 of which will be specially adapted to provide homes for people with physical disabilities, and one for general needs.

The council revealed its plans to become a Registered Housing Provider at the end of last year, and has a five-year housing delivery and investment plan, that will see it bring long term empty properties back into use, deliver more bungalows for accessible living, and provide more supported accommodation for vulnerable residents.  In all, £59m will be invested into homes in the city by the council.

Councillor Rebecca Atkinson, Dynamic City Portfolio Holder at Sunderland City Council, said: “This is yet-another fantastic step forward in the council’s five-year vision to deliver homes that meet the needs of our residents.

“We’re thrilled to see work get underway today, and though this may not be a large scheme, it is one that is sorely needed to support residents living with disabilities in Sunderland.

“We want to be a city in which nobody is left behind, and one that makes use of innovation to afford people the best possible life.  We’re very proud to be demonstrating that commitment through schemes such as this, that will transform the life chances of people living with disabilities in Sunderland.”

Designed by JDDK, the bungalows are four of 117 new-build bungalows that Sunderland City Council has committed to build over the next five-years.  They will feature a range of new innovations to make life easier for residents, including remote heating and lighting controls. 

Tolent has been appointed to build the homes in Albert Place. 

Chris Price, regional director for Tolent, said: "We're very proud to be working with Sunderland City Council on what are some of its first council house projects in the city for almost 40 years. As well as delivering a range of high quality homes across the North East, we're experts in delivering homes that cater for a range of needs and we understand how important being able to provide this type of housing can be for local communities."

The scheme represents a £760,000 investment,  with £172,000 in funding coming from Homes England to support the development. 

Andrea Taylor, Senior Manager at Homes England, said: “Despite the current challenges affecting the country, accelerating housebuilding remains our number one priority. We are committed to supporting Sunderland City Council who have ambitions to build new homes, and our investment through affordable housing grant allows us to do that. We’re delighted that this funding will enable Sunderland City Council to deliver much needed new homes in Washington.”

The Albert Place development is part of a wider plan to ensure Sunderland has the volume and variety of homes it needs to attract and retain a diverse range of residents.  The council will be bringing more than 360 empty properties into use as family homes over the next five years; delivering 117 new build bungalows; and through new build, conversion and refurbishment, will create 95 new homes as supported accommodation. 

The homes form part of a wider plan to create more than 7,000 new homes in the city over the next decade.  As well as council-led developments, the city is attracting investment from a range of housebuilders which will see two new coastal communities rise take shape at Seaburn, led by Avant Homes and Miller Homes; a £40m scheme delivered by Karbon Homes in North Hylton and a £400m+ plan by Gentoo to invest in its existing stock, as well as new schemes. Sunderland City Council has also revealed its ambitions to develop contemporary new city centre homes on the Riverside Sunderland site, and at Northern Spire Park alongside the stunning Northern Spire bridge.

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