Dreams have come true for 14 families and for the man cutting the ribbon stretching across the road to their new homes in Maurice Chappell Way at Pinchbeck.
It was Maurice who first had the idea around ten years ago to build affordable homes in the village for rent – and as a Pinchbeck parish councillor he worked tirelessly for many years to achieve it.
The financial crisis of 2008 proved a setback, but in May 2012 Pinchbeck Community Land Trust (CLT) was formed and took on the task of providing the homes, working with partners, and on Thursday a huge gathering including the new tenants looked on as Maurice opened the development that bears his name.
He said: “All I can say to you all is thank you very much for making my dream come true.”
The first tenants were picking up their keys yesterday (Monday) and some were planning to move in the same day.
Jill Stewart (40) and her son, Bailey (18), are moving into number 5 and Thursday gave Jill a chance to peep through the windows for a first glimpse inside their “amazing” new home.
She’s been living for the last five years with her mum in Brownlow Crescent.
Jill said: “I had no sleep at all last night because I was so excited – it’s been worse than Christmas!
“It’s really hard to rent privately – getting the money together for the deposit and things like that. I have always been a single parent so I have never really had the money.”
Tina Kitchen (45) and daughter Kiela (20) are moving to number 9 – and for Tina it will bring an end to nights on the sofa in her mum and dad’s living room after she lost her own home.
“There’s been four of us in a two bedroom bungalow,” said Tina. “I put my name on the council waiting list and to rent privately was way too much.”
Natasha Figg (21), husband Edward (23) and son Austin, who is nearly two, are moving from Railway Close, Spalding, into a home they described as “lovely”.
“It’s a nuisance being where we live so close to the train lines,” said Natasha. “It’s so loud.”
She said Edward grew up in Pinchbeck and Austin will be able to go to his dad’s old school.
Pinchbeck CLT raised £469,000 from the Homes and Communities Agency. They bought 1.25 acres of land from Pinchbeck Parish Council for £54,000 – which means that sum will go back to the local community.
Pinchbeck CLT chairman Steve Colby said: “I am delighted these lovely homes are now available for local families. They are a mix of two and three bedrooms, all energy efficient and economical to run with pv panels on the roof helping towards lower running costs.
“Additionally there are small allotments available on site for the tenants.
“The homes will always, in perpetuity, be available for rent for the people of Pinchbeck and there will be no right to buy.
“I thank Westleigh Developments for building them so well and Lincs Rural Housing Association who will manage them.”
• Pinchbeck CLT is a non-profit making organising made up entirely of volunteers from Pinchbeck and, in time, it will look at providing sports facilities, gardens, allotments and other public benefits. It can be contacted by writing to the Adult Study Centre, Knight Street, Pinchbeck PE11 3RB or emailing email@example.com