Former Devonport residents settle in to new community
Published by RoyP for Sovereign Housing Association in Housing and also in Communities
New Mount Wise resident Margaret Shepherd
Residents whose former homes in Devonport are being replaced as part of the regeneration of this part of Plymouth have moved into their brand new affordable homes in the Mount Wise development.
Fourteen former residents ofGranby Wayhave been moved out of their old homes as part of Plymouth Community Homes’ Devonport Regeneration project in partnership with Plymouth City Council. They have now settled into their new Sovereign Housing Association flats for the over-55s atMountWise.
The planned redevelopment of more than 400 social housing flats and maisonettes in Devonport is expected to result in massive improvements for the area, but it also entailed big changes for the long-established community there.
“We have invested a great deal of time to support the families who are being moved out of these homes but who wish to stay in the area,” said Nicole Sharp, Sovereign’s Regional Director.
“Working with the city council and other agencies, we helped to develop a special lettings policy which gave priority for the new affordable homes at Mount Wise to people moving from the Devonport regeneration area. We were able to provide a new home to all those who applied for re-housing at Mount Wise. This is fantastic news as it will help to keep the local community together and support our ongoing work in the area,” she said.
Many of the new residents have moved into accommodation for the over-55s. One of them is 74-year-old Margaret Shepherd, who has lived in Devonport all her life. Having lost her husband, who died 15 years ago, she was anxious about having to leave her home.
“I was at my old place for 17 years, with my daughter next door,” Margaret said. “The thought of having to move was a bit stressful at first. Although my housing officer was really good, I was still worried about what it would be like.”
“But as soon as I got here I looked out the window at the great view and thought, ‘wow, it’s lovely, I’m really pleased I’ve moved now’. I’ve got my daughter down the road and my grandson nearby,” she said. “It’s been great that Sovereign have given these houses to local people like me so I can stay in the area with my family and people. Everyone has been great getting the flat all ready and helping me to settle in. I’m really happy here now.”
In total, Sovereign has 86 affordable homes, including 34 shared ownership properties, at the £120 million Mount Wise development, which sits on a former royal navy site within the grounds of Admiralty House. The new homes, which are built to level three of the Code for Sustainable Homes, have been supported with an investment of £4.7 million from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
Janet Ventre, HCA Area Manager, said: “This redevelopment forms a vital part of our work with partners to bring high quality new affordable homes in Plymouth. Building a new community at Mount Wise is part of a much wider regeneration of Devonport and Millbay, which is set to bring huge benefits to the city.
“It’s great news that the new homes have been completed and are ready for people like Margaret to move into and I hope the residents will be very happy here.”
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