Guernsey Housing Association offers Public Viewing of completed homes at Victoria Avenue

October 31st, 2009 by Steve

The Guernsey Housing Association is pleased to be able to open three properties to public view on Saturday 31 October 2009 between 2 and 4 pm.  This is to increase the public awareness about the new social housing being produced in Guernsey.  The properties which are a part of the Sir John Leale Avenue development on Victoria Avenue have been designed using very high levels of insulation and other energy saving features. Residents in these properties should halve their normal fuel costs.

The 58 homes on this development have been designed using very high levels of insulation, draught proofing, with solar panels used to create hot water and heating linked into an Ecostor low tariff boiler. There is also a heat recovery ventilation system meaning that warm stale air is extracted and heats up the fresh air drawn in. The calculations show that residents should halve their normal fuel costs.

With full support and encouragement from the States Housing Department, GHA has worked with Guernsey consultants, contractors and suppliers to produce this energy efficient new housing. Our main construction partners are Lovell Ozanne, Brittain Hadley, JW Rihoy, DHS, and Norman Piette/Kingspan. All our partners have contributed ideas and expertise to produce high quality homes that will be economic to run. Both GHA and the Housing Department are keen to help tackle fuel poverty and lead the way in the provision of cheap to heat, energy-efficient homes.

There are 49 homes for rent and 9 homes for partial ownership. The rented homes are all bungalow style, chiefly one bedroom, with some 2 bedroom, the second bedroom either ground floor or in the roofspace. Many of the one bedroom bungalows have been designed to allow for an inexpensive conversion of the loftspace in the future if we need more 2 bed accommodation.

The bungalows are aimed at housing older people and have mobility access, with wider doorways, lower window heights and shower rooms.

So the 2 main themes of the Sir John Leale Avenue development are energy efficiency and accessibility.

Steve Williams, GHA’s Chief Executive said ‘We are delighted to be providing these new homes, which I am sure will be very popular. We have learnt a great deal on this design and are now applying that knowledge to more new developments for the future.’

The first phase of 17 homes completes this month, with a second phase of 19 homes next February and the remaining 22 homes by next July.

The Housing Minister, Deputy Dave Jones said, ‘The properties on the old Victoria Avenue site have been replaced by modern eco-friendly dwellings. These new bungalows will be much kinder to the environment and will save tenants money as well. These homes set a new benchmark for eco-friendly social housing in Guernsey, and the Housing Department is proud to have played a vital part in their origin. The Department will continue working closely with the GHA to deliver more outstanding new developments of similar type.

The bungalows will be offered to Housing Department tenants who are either under-occupying two and three-bedroomed States Houses, or living on estates that are due for redevelopment. ‘As our tenants move to Sir John Leale Avenue and become GHA tenants, their old properties will either be reallocated to families on the Department’s waiting list or demolished to make way for new social housing developments,’ said Deputy Jones. ‘It’s all part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to rationalise its stock and, together with the GHA, increase the provision of social housing on the Island.

‘I would also take this opportunity to thank all States Members, past and present, for the fantastic support they have given to the Corporate Housing Programme. Without that support, much of what we have achieved with GHA would not have been possible. It is a real success story for the States of Guernsey.’

GHA’s contractor is JW Rihoy and their Managing Director, Gavin Rihoy was keen to highlight the fresh approach to this development, saying ‘The whole construction industry is now focusing new designs on more energy efficient buildings, and this development is a great example of that. People often complain about stricter building regulations putting up the price of construction, but meeting those regulations means a scheme like this is a viable option when compared with traditional building techniques. Undoubtedly this will benefit the residents with reduced fuel bills, but as these energy efficient designs gather pace, our whole environment will benefit.’

Guernsey Housing Association is an independent not-for-profit company, but works in close partnership with the States Housing Department to help deliver the Corporate Housing Programme for the islands people. GHA’s Directors are unpaid volunteers.

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