Irwell Valley Homes started out with just nine homes in Salford in May 1973 and now serves more than 20,000 customers across 7,800 homes in Greater Manchester, including nearly 1,100 homes in Bury.
The new homes in Morris Street include 16 two and three-bedroom homes let at affordable rent – 80 per cent of the market rate for the area – as well as a further nine offered through shared ownership.
The £4.3m development, which received £1.1m from Homes England, is already transforming the lives of the people who live there, including mum Sophie Paul who said the difference in her three-year-old daughter Lilly-Rose had been ‘amazing’.
The youngster has some additional needs and before moving to their new home in Morris Street, Bury, had struggled to be around strangers and with her language development.
“But since we moved here she’s flourished,” Sophie said.
“She’s come on so much in so many ways – her confidence, her language. Everything is different now; our lives have changed so much.
“Having the stability and the security that this place offers us at a rent I can afford is amazing and gives me so much peace of mind. The area is great, Lilly-Rose loves the park up the road and it’s in the catchment area for a school I like.
“The future seems so much brighter now we’re here.”
Sophie and Lilly-Rose joined other guests including Councillor Clare Cummins, cabinet member for housing services at Bury Council, local ward Councillor Mary Walsh, Jackie Summerscales, unit manager for housing strategy, policy and performance at Bury Council, and representatives from building contractor Watson Homes for the official opening of the scheme.
Guests enjoyed a tour of the homes – which have a host of green features including air source heat pumps, mechanical ventilation, solar panels and electric vehicle charging points to benefit the environment and help customers with energy bills – and tucked into a 50th birthday cake, celebrating Irwell Valley Homes’ anniversary.
Sasha Deepwell, Chief Executive of Irwell Valley Homes, said: “It was fantastic to meet Sophie and Lilly-Rose at the launch of our Morris Street development and hear from them first-hand the difference that a safe, affordable and quality home is making to their lives.
“Some 50 years on from when we launched, this remains our core purpose – to enable people to live well in their homes and communities. Bury has been one of our key areas since our very early days – in fact one of our longest standing customers, who has been a tenant with us since 1976, lives just up the road from Morris Street.
“During our 50th year it is wonderful to be building on that legacy and launching these much-needed new homes.”