Council house bungalows to be built in Washington and Houghton as Sunderland Council returns to house building
Three new housing estates will see £3 million invested into bungalows as council chiefs look to support those most in need have homes fit to live in for generations to come.
A project is already underway to create 17 single-storey homes in Cork Street in Sunderland’s East End, with a £1.4 million to be invested in rebuilding Northeast Disabilities Resource Centre (NDRC), which will offer residents support services for those with physical disabilities.
Sunderland City Council aims to have a contractor in place by April so work can begin in June, with the hope the first tenant will be in by early 2021.
Meanwhile, work is also ongoing on proposals for other bungalow projects in Albert Place in Washington, and Boult Terrace in Houghton, with 26 homes in total to be set up if the plans get the green light.
Of those, 16 will be designed with people with physical disabilities in mind.
With Sunderland lined up as the first city in the UK to become 5G ready, the homes will also be kitted out so that people can be helped to live independently through voice-activated technology, with the cover to also support the new centre.
It is part of a renewed effort to fill the gap in housing needs in the city, with the authority now registered as a provider of social housing, with work ongoing to become an Investor Partner with Homes England.
The projects are part of a wider project £59 million project which will see Wearside make a return to having its own council housing, with the scheme to go before the council’s cabinet next week - within that, there are plans to build 117 new bungalows by 2025.
The cash will be invested over five years in affordable housing, which will also see hundreds of more homes set up and empty properties tackled.
Councillor Rebecca Atkinson, cabinet member for housing and regeneration, said while the authority will continue to work alongside social housing companies and developers of private homes, it is working to fill the gap by providing its own home service.
She said: “As a city we are really caring, we look out for other people and they often say Mackems are the most friendly people and I think that’s part of our community ethos.
“For me, we can see the difference social housing can make.”
Graham Scanlon, assistant director of housing, added: “We’re evolving as a city and there’s lots of housing association partners we are working with and are doing a great job.
“But was clear that the scale of development for affordable housing needed to increase and we had gaps in our market to help vulnerable people who need help with their housing, those who are homeless and have mental health issues.
“We are playing a part in supporting future developments with these projects.
“The council has put them together with digital technology in mind and Cork Street falls within the city centre area
“These bungalows are going to have specifications for smart home living.”