Forty family council flats have been officially unveiled as part of a £3.6 million nine-month renovation project in Northampton.
Former single person’s accommodation block, Overslade House, in East Hunsbury, has been totally transformed to make way for 40 new family flats, and it has been given a new name.
To mark 100 years of the social housing in the UK, the development, which was opened by South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom, has been aptly called Centenary House.
The £3.6 million project - which has been extended upwards by one storey - now includes pretty landscaping, accessible ground floor apartments, new balconies and a children’s play area.
Mum Sabrina Moussi will be moving into Centenary House with her Dylan, aged nine, and Analie, aged 16, in September.
Sabrina described what the move will mean to her family. “I’m so excited," she said. "I'm surprised to get a home in the area I’ve lived in for the last 13 years, it’s like a dream.
"Dylan goes to Abbeyfied Primary school, so all his friends live nearby.
“The best thing is that the apartments are brand new and we still have a little bit of outdoor space of our own for plants and flowers as well as a lovely play area and green space to share with neighbours."
The project was completed by Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) and their major works contractor ENGIE.
Back in 2015, the Chronicle & Echo reported how some residents of Overslade House were afraid to leave their apartments because of the anti-social behaviour of a group of residents.
Their complaints included reports of motorbikes being driven around the forecourt in the early hours, fires and verbal abuse.
In 2017, people living in Overslade House were moved out en masse after a small group of yobs damaged all of the fire safety equipment there.
Mike Kay, NPH chief executive, said: "We think the centenary of social housing is really something to celebrate, as is the provision of much needed family homes in Northampton.
"Working in close partnership with Northampton Borough Council has enabled us to provide 147 new homes, with 124 more to be completed by 2020."
Jonathan Nunn, leader of Northampton Borough Council, added: “We’re keen to ensure old housing stock is modernised to better fit the needs of communities, and that the work is carried out with people in mind.
“NPH is well placed to carry out this work on our behalf and we have a number of other schemes in the pipeline which will continue the drive to improve and increase the level of housing stock we have available.”