Families move into new FCHO affordable housing development in Royton

First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) has completed its latest housing development in Royton, with the first families starting to move in.

Five three-bedroom family homes on Holden Fold, which are all for affordable rent, will be managed by FCHO and have been allocated to customers on Oldham Council’s housing register.

Chris Coulter and Rachel Buckley are among the customers who have moved into the new homes on Holden Fold

The £725,000 development is part of FCHO’s strategy to help meet increasing demand for affordable homes across the region. The housing association has received £190,000 grant funding from Homes England for this scheme which has been built by Oldham-based PCW Developments.

Chris Coulter and Rachel Buckley and their two children are among the customers who have just moved into a new home at the development.

Rachel said: “The four of us were living in a two-bedroom property in another part of Oldham, and we were really struggling for space – especially when the lockdown was announced and we were all at home together for long periods of time.

“Chris and I slept downstairs in the lounge so the kids could have a bedroom each and their own space, which they need. I have fibromyalgia too, so it was a very difficult time for us.

“We’ve been bidding on bigger houses for four years and so getting this new, three-bedroom home is excellent news and will make a huge difference to our family.

“We have the room we need in a lovely area and we’re looking forward to getting settled in.”

The Holden Fold development is built on the former site of Holden Fold Mill and offers its new residents good transport links to Royton, Oldham and Chadderton, and the local motorway network.

It is the social landlord’s latest housing development in Royton in the past two years. In 2019 it completed the £3.3m Thorp Road project, which comprised 16 rent-to-buy homes, 10 shared ownership houses and two affordable rent bungalows.

Work is currently underway in the nearby Royley area to transform vacant land and create 13 three and four-bedroom family homes, all for affordable rent. The £2.5m scheme is due for completion in January 2021.

Heidi Thompson, FCHO Executive Director of Homes and Investment, said: “This new development is part of our ongoing commitment to bring more high quality, affordable housing to the area, where demand outstrips supply.

“Over the next six years we’re investing £160 million in building much needed homes for local people and these new family properties in Royton will help us meet this target.

“Contributing to the local economy and creating opportunities for local people and businesses is also important to us.

“I’m pleased we’ve been able to work with the PCW Developments team to create modern homes which are fit for the future and I hope Chris, Rachel and all our other customers are very happy here.”

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