Wigan Council is working hard to provide much-needed new housing for the borough, and to make it easier and more affordable for people from the borough to move into their own place. Work is already underway on the first new council homes to built for nearly 25 years. They will be ready by the autumn. New homes already proving a big success is the new 10 house development at Windemere Gardens, Leigh. Borough Life went along to find out more…
“It was the best start to a new year I could ever have asked for!” Samantha Higgins beams proudly from the gleaming white kitchen of her new home.
The 32 year-old mum and kids Courtney, 13, and Joseph, four, moved into the stylish three-bedroom home close to Leigh town centre in early January.
Samantha works for a pharmaceutical company in Leigh, so it’s just right for her. It’s also within walking distance of what will hopefully be Joseph’s new school. It’s got a nice back garden, complete with shed and is equipped for the future.
Solar panels in the roof help keep the electricity bills down while the rainwater collection system in the garden means Sam can keep the grass in good condition without breaking the bank.
The new house is part of the larger Windemere Gardens affordable housing development which is helping many local people just like Samantha realise the dream of improving their futures by upgrading their accommodation.
Not so long ago Samantha and the gang were living in nearby Tyldesley under different circumstances. “We were in a two-bedroomed house and we needed somewhere bigger,” said Samantha. “With Courtney entering her teenage years it just wasn’t fair for her not to have her own room.
“We had been on the list to move to a bigger house for some time but there just wasn’t any available. It was beginning to cause real frustration and I just didn’t know what to do.”
The 10 house scheme at Windemere Gardens is an affordable rent project from the Great Places Housing Group. The properties are let through the Wigan & Leigh Property Shops.
When Samantha found out about the scheme, she first went to have a look around. And once she saw what was on offer, she jumped at the chance.
“There were a few forms to fill in but it was quite simple really,” she said. “When we got the phone call to say we could move in I was really thrilled. It’s a bit more expensive than where we were before but it’s worth it.
“There’s no way I could afford somewhere like this under normal circumstances and life’s a lot better for us all now.”
For more information on the Windemere Gardens and other affordable homes schemes in Wigan Borough you can contact Wigan & Leigh’s Property Shops on 01942 404128 (Wigan) and 01942 404091 (Leigh).
Free help at hand
Help is at hand for anyone suffering financial difficulties because of the economic downturn… and it’s free.
The council, the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) and the borough’s Housing Options Advice Centre work together to make sure people can get free, impartial advice and help to negotiate with landlords or mortgage lenders.
Last year more than 270 people asked for help with housing debts that could have led to homelessness, and for the vast majority of these a solution was found that allowed them to stay in their own home.
You can contact the Wigan and Leigh Housing Options Advice Centre on 01942 487717 and visit the website at: Wigan & Leigh Housing (external link) or contact Wigan and Leigh CAB on 0844 826 9713 and visit the website at: Wigan CAB (external link)