A COMPANY set up by South Tyneside Council to plug an affordable homes gap in the borough is going from strength to strength, councillors have been told.
The Housing Ventures Trust Ltd – a not-for profit firm – was established to take the lead role in building homes for rent or shared ownership on behalf of the council.
The Trust aims to create 400 new homes over the next five years.
It is already on target to complete the first phase of its plan to provide 116 homes, with building work under way on 88 properties at West Way in South Shields, and Saxon Way in Jarrow.
Several other properties have also been purchased and let at Biddick Green in South Shields.
Additionally, the company is renovating 12 long-term empty council homes, including some in the St Paul’s area of Jarrow.
At a meeting of the council’s Place Select Committee this week, Coun Eddie McAtominey, Labour for Hebburn South, praised the work being carried out by the Trust, but gently “carpeted” the company over one aspect of its work..
He said: “I went on site visits a couple of weeks ago. The first was at Trinity South and I have to say it was probably the highest standard of internal decoration and fittings that I have ever seen.
“The next stop was in the St Paul’s Road area, which has been rundown for a number of years and this particular property had been bought by Housing Ventures and it is up to an extremely high standard.
“The only problem I had was with the carpeting. It may sound silly but the carpets are identical in every room – the lounge, the bedroom, the dining room and the staircase.
“People who move into a new house do not have identical carpets and it’s a mistake that should be rectified.”
Coun Nancy Maxwell, committee chair, added: “The important message to get across is that as a council are doing everything possible to keep areas at a good standard.
We are doing our very best to provide homes and lift areas that were going down because some of these houses are absolutely beautiful. ”