Minister visits Newport's ex-prefab estate

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A NEWPORT resident welcomed the housing and regeneration minister Carl Sargeant AM into her home yesterday to discuss the importance of older people’s housing.

Coral Elshaw’s modern bungalow on Ridgeway Hill was previously one of many prefabs built in the 1940s. She has been in her new home since 2005.

The renovated prefab bungalows are the inspiration behind a new housing company Derwen, which aims to build new homes and villages in which older people can live independently.

“It’s wonderful,” Ms Elshaw told the minister. “Although the prefabs were lovely and must have been very modern at the time.”

Everyone who lived on the estate prior to the development stayed on the estate to retain the strong community.

The prefabs were renovated around the specific needs of their tenants addressing the needs of older people. A number of the bungalows feature solar panels and as part of the development, tenants were able to chose various fittings, decoration and layout. Tenants also chose which bungalow they lived in, which in Ms Elshaw’s case was neighbouring her daughter’s home.

“It’s a lovely estate. The tenants’ engagement is really important. It’s about choice and making sure they are involved,” said Mr Sargeant.

Ms Elshaw, who is also one of the board members who runs the estate’s community centre, showed the Minister around her two-bedroom bungalow.

Mr Sargeant said: “This is a great example of residents here showing how proud they are of their homes.

“Good quality housing for people – that’s what we are striving to do. This type of development is a great way forward in terms of modern day housing solutions for older people.”

Ms Elshaw’s bungalow is currently managed by Newport Housing Trust but, from April, a new dedicated older people’s housing company Derwen will be formed as Newport Housing Trust and older tenants from Charter Housing merge.

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9:21pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Cantankerous says...

The prefabs were not renovated - they were demolished and bungalows were constructed in there stead!
The prefabs were not renovated - they were demolished and bungalows were constructed in there stead! Cantankerous
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