Irwell Valley Homes (IVH) has celebrated a regeneration milestone in Trafford with the completion of the first homes in the second phase of the project.
The organisation’s multi-million pound regeneration of the Sale West estate in Trafford is building more “affordable” homes, as well as improving existing ones, and enhancing the estate with a host of environmental improvements.
In December the first ‘accessible-ready’ apartments were handed over by contractor Seddon and now the first residents are beginning a new year in a new home.
One of them is Toby Ashton, who suffered life-changing injuries in an accident at work seven years ago, and now lives with osteoarthritis, which affects his mobility. After years of sofa surfing, he’s delighted to have a place of his own.
Ashton said: “When I saw the apartments listed, I couldn’t quite believe it – it seemed too good to be true. Then when I was ranking first in the list, I still daren’t let myself get too hopeful.
“The space is fantastic – for so long I had no-where to call my own, but this will be my place. I can invite friends over, have my mum to stay.
“The fact it’s already set up for my needs with the level access, wet room and wider doorways is amazing. I can fit my perching stools in, get a seat fitted in the shower room and there’s space to store my mobility scooter. These things make such a difference.
“It feels like the start of a really exciting new chapter. Eventually when I’m settled and sorted, I’d like to work towards becoming a peer support worker for others facing similar circumstances to what I have. I’m finally starting to thrive, not just survive, thanks to the support I’m getting and in time I want to do my bit to give that back to someone else.”
Other features of the 20 apartments and two houses being delivered as part of phase two of the regeneration include triple glazing, electric heating and mechanical ventilation systems.
Phase one continues in tandem – with 60 of the 79 new homes for social rent now complete – while a raft of environmental improvements including new play areas, tree-planting, road and car park resurfacing, and a nature trail have been completed on the estate over the last 12 months.
Sasha Deepwell, IVH’s chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to mark another milestone in the regeneration of Sale West.
“Accessible-ready apartments like these are in high demand in the area so we’re very pleased to be able to help meet this need through the regeneration programme. Hearing the stories of people like Toby, who have struggled for so long to find a place which is right for them, really drives home the value of what we are doing on the estate.
“Hearing him talk about his future plans and ambitions once he is settled in his new home sums up what this regeneration is all about – enabling people to live well in their home and community and to achieve their potential.
“It’s the social purpose we were formed with more than half a century ago, and it’s what drives us forward today as we look ahead to the future.”
Leader of Trafford Council, councillor Tom Ross, said: “Trafford Council is totally committed to providing more social and affordable homes across the borough and we are working with social housing providers like Irwell Valley Homes to achieve this.
“The regeneration of Sale West is a huge success and I am delighted with the progress we are making on the site. Best wishes to Toby – I hope he enjoys living in his new home.”
Martin Sharkey, construction director at Seddon Housing Partnerships, said: “The regeneration of Sale West has been an incredible project to help bring to fruition. It is fantastic to have been able to play a role in creating these life-changing new homes and build with the new community forming here. It’s great to hear how happy Toby is with his new home.
“It is important to recognise the efforts made to build sustainability in at the outset here, embracing new technologies and ensuring that these homes will be easy and cheap to heat in the colder months. The industry continues to learn and these efforts should be benchmarks for the future.”
Main image: Sasha Deepwell, chief executive of Irwell Valley Homes; Ralph Rudden, chair, Our Sale West; cllr Tom Ross, leader of Trafford Council; and Gareth Rees, Irwell Valley Homes board member
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