£1.7m Contour Homes scheme creates more affordable apartments in Salford
Published by RichardBramwell for Symphony Housing Group in Housing and also in Communities, Environment
Contour Homes Managing Director Judith Winterbourne with tenant James McManus in his home at The Priory, Salford
An innovative £1.7m development that includes ‘convertible homes’ to make sure people’s housing needs are better met in the future has been completed in Salford.
All 25 apartments have been snapped up at The Priory, in Higher Broughton, following a major overhaul, and residents have just moved in.
Social landlord Contour Homes – part of Symphony Housing Group – has converted the former sheltered housing scheme into one- and two-bedroom homes for affordable rent, transforming the complex both inside and out.
Apartments have been fitted with new kitchens, bathrooms and improved insulation to help keep energy bills down, and communal areas have been redesigned.
Nine one-bedroom apartments are also ‘convertible homes’, meaning they can be altered to two-bed properties should demand for housing in Higher Broughton change in the future.
Tenant James McManus, aged 52, was struggling to make ends meet after having his housing benefit cut by the Government because he had a spare room in his former home.
Now he has moved into a one-bedroom apartment at The Priory, he is no longer affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ – and he is impressed with the quality of the development.
“It’s a nice little place and I like the shape of the building, the skylight and the balcony. It’s very comfortable and very homely,” he said.
“I should also be able to manage a little bit better moneywise now. I’m trying hard to find a job and I was struggling before because of the bedroom tax. You’ve got to pay your bills and there wasn’t much left for food. This is definitely going to help.”
Symphony Housing Group project manager Bob Pleasance, who has overseen the redevelopment for Contour Homes, said: “The building has been completely transformed from sheltered housing and modernised for a new market.
“There is a shortage of good quality one-bedroom apartments in the area. There is also a lot of demand for this kind of home as people look to ‘downsize’ because of Government benefit changes affecting those with spare bedrooms.
“We’ve also looked to future-proof The Priory so that it meets the needs of the community even if housing demand changes. It’s a great scheme.”
CCTV monitoring, video/audio door entry, new landscaping and improved lighting have also been installed. Outside, the building has been rendered to give it a new, modern look.
The Priory was officially opened at an event on Friday (March 7), attended by partners Salford City Council, contractor Keepmoat, architect Arcus and Contour Homes staff and board members.
The development has been part-funded with a grant from the Homes & Communities Agency’s Affordable Homes Programme.
James was among tenants who welcomed guests – including Contour Homes’ managing director Judith Winterbourne (pictured above) – into their homes to showcase the transformation.