A young family is looking forward to spending their first Christmas together in a brand new home after becoming the first tenants to move into a development in South Tyneside.
Kevinson and Elizabeth Onyegbule and their two-year-old son Naeto have just been handed the keys to the two-bedroom property in Witton Road, Hebburn.
Their new build home is one of 14 completed by Able Construction (Northern) Ltd for North East housing association Bernicia Homes on the site of a former workingmen’s club.
The two and three-bedroom rental properties have proved hugely popular with 140 applications to live in them.
The Onyegbule family are the first tenants to move onto the new estate, which is said to be ideal for young families as it is situated close to local schools and with “excellent” transport links to Jarrow and Hebburn town centres.
“This will be our first Christmas in a lovely new home,” said Elizabeth, a senior care assistant, who currently lives with her husband Kevinson, a Nissan production worker, and their young son Naeto in a Gateshead flat.
“It was exciting getting the keys and opening the door for the first time. It’s got a very good size kitchen, it’s a very good place and ideal for a family,” she added. “It’s spacious and has a garden which is a lovely environment. We are really looking forward to moving in before Christmas.”
Peter Fowle, managing director of Able Construction (Northern) Ltd, said: “It was a pretty run down workingmen’s club which had been here for quite a few years which ran into disrepair and was poorly attended.
“The owners decided to put it onto the market and we saw an opportunity to see what we could put on there, identifying it would be perfect for social housing having recently worked very well with Bernicia on schemes in Durham and Gateshead.
“Throughout the course of the job, the former club steward who lives nearby has been very helpful and we received a thank you card from a resident to say how considerate the workforce has been during the course of the build which was very kind.”
Sharon Lake, Bernicia’s programme manager, added: “We are over the moon with the quality of the homes and the level of interest in them shows people recognise that quality and that we are meeting a need for this type of housing in the area.
“It’s such an improvement for the local community on what was here beforehand. We always knew it would be a popular development given the area it is in, but not quite as popular given the number of bids to our housing management team.
“The two bedroom homes can be for a family with two children, the three bedroom homes for five people and hopefully there’ll be a nice little community established here as we allocate houses at the same time.”