A north Northumberland woman can stay in the village that has been her home for more than 25 years thanks to an affordable-homes scheme.
The new £1.9million, 16-home development in Embleton has recently been completed meaning local people are able to rent a house in their community.
Donna Young, 32, has lived in Embleton since she was six. She went to school locally and works in a hotel in the village.
Until recently she had been living with her mother, but has just moved into one of the new two-bedroom properties on Whinstone View which she is renting with her boyfriend Peter.
“It means the absolute world to me to be able to stay in the village where I grew up and live in the countryside I adore,” she said.
“I have always loved living in Embleton and always feel so proud when I am showing my city friends around. They have never seen anything like it. There is no place like it.”
New mum Jayde Stewart, originally from Longhoughton, has also moved into one of the affordable homes.
She said: “In my view, there is nothing more important than having a secure and comfortable place to live at an affordable price.”
Northumberland County Council has contributed £1.7million to towards the scheme.
Coun Allan Hepple, cabinet member for housing, said: “I am extremely impressed by the quality and high standard of the new homes. This is a great scheme that will give families a place to call home at a price they can afford.
“They really are fabulous and it was a real pleasure to hand over the keys to Donna and Jayde. I wish them all the best in their new and affordable homes.”
Ward member for the area, Coun Kate Cairns, added: “Too many people, especially the young, are being forced to move away from the villages they grew up in because they have been priced out of the local market. We need to retain young people in this community and to achieve this we have to help create somewhere they can afford to live. A small number of affordable homes can really benefit the whole community and help create a sustainable future for the area.”
Coun Heather Cairns is a member of the housing and economic growth advisory group. She said: “It is essential to provide new affordable housing for young people to maintain the vibrancy of our rural communities.”
The local authority is currently building further affordable housing in Blyth (26 bungalows) and Shilbottle (20 homes) and last year it constructed 48 new affordable homes in Amble.