Residents make fresh start in homes completed during pandemic

18 September 2020

Emma Palmer with Aukse Davaliene at her new home in Spalding Close, Braintree Emma Palmer with Aukse Davaliene at her new home in Spalding Close, Braintree

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Families celebrated moving into new homes completed ahead of schedule during the pandemic with some hand-delivered hampers from Eastlight.

The first of 34 homes have been completed at the £6.8 million regeneration of Spalding Close in Braintree by Eastlight Community Homes and Colchester-based Hill Building Group.

The new homes replace 20 rented and 11 temporary properties, which were no longer sustainable to maintain due to their age and condition. Former residents were supported to find suitable alternative homes.

The homes, for social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership, were safely completed during the pandemic by Hill. They are among the first of 3,800 to be built by Eastlight in its first five years.

The new residents celebrated with a special hamper hand-delivered to them by Eastlight’s Chief Executive, Emma Palmer, on Wednesday 16 September.

New residents include Stacey Bell, who has moved into her house with her two children. She said:

“It’s all happened so fast and it is just amazing. I keep waiting for someone to pinch me to wake me up from a dream!"

“My two kids and I have been in the same house for 11 years, which was too small for our needs; particularly as my son has ADHD and will now have much more room to burn off energy. He is so happy that he has even been helping with the washing up!”

Emma Palmer said: “It’s a pleasure and a privilege to see residents so happy in their new homes.

“So many in our communities are living in poor quality or unaffordable homes, which is why we plan to build 3,800 genuinely affordable homes over the next five years.”

Rob Jack, Regional Director at Hill, said: “It was an honour to be chosen to deliver these new homes for the residents and it’s so rewarding to see how happy they are in their new homes.

“Eastlight has done a tremendous job driving forward its plan for delivering high-quality, affordable new homes for communities in the next five years, which we fully support.” 

The development is expected to be complete by the end of this year. Eastlight is currently building over 600 homes across Essex and Suffolk, including Halstead, Saffron Walden and Boreham.