Residents have opened the door to the first of County Durham’s new council homes.
Plans by Durham County Council for a new era of council housing in the county are well underway, with work now complete on four two-bedroom bungalows at Hartley Gardens in Gilesgate.
Cllr James Rowlandson, cabinet member for resources, assets and investment, said: “We are delighted to welcome our new tenants into their new council homes.
“This is the first step on our journey to build many more homes which will help meet the needs of our residents. I hope our tenants will be very happy here.
“It is so important that everyone has access to good quality housing which helps them to feel safe and secure. This also helps to build strong communities and we are pleased that our investment is helping to support this.”
Six bungalows were acquired by the council from Chapter Homes as part of the programme.
These have been built by construction partner Tolent, with a further two bungalows expected to be available to let later this year.
It is part of the first phase of a £70m, five-year plan to build 500 new homes for rent in County Durham.
While the new developments will have some family accommodation, there will be a focus on bungalows to rent for older people living in the county.
The programme will also help to address the gap between the number of new affordable homes for rent being built compared to the numbers that are required.
Two of the first tenants to move into Hartley Gardens are Malcolm and Margaret Cook.
Margaret uses a wheelchair and has struggled to move around comfortably in their flat.
Margaret said: “Access around our home has been difficult, so we are very happy that we now have a property that is suitable for our needs.
“We feel that we have a home that will give us our freedom back and make day-to-day tasks so much easier.”