A family have been welcomed to their redeveloped and affordably warm homes by Rishi Sunak.
The Richmond MP was on hand to present Sharon Adcock with a bouquet shortly after she moved into her refurbished Broadacres home near Northallerton.
The house is one of two semi-detached properties owned by the housing association in the small village of Welbury.
Both have had a major refurbishment, including rewiring, cavity clearance and the installation of a new kitchen, but even more importantly they were fitted with more energy-efficient air source heating systems. These absorb heat from the outside air to heat radiators in the properties.
The installation of air source heating forms part of Broadacres’ affordable warmth strategy, which is resulting in expensive-to-run heating systems at hundreds of its existing homes being replaced by more energy-efficient, cheaper heating.
Mrs Adcock, her husband and two children, had been living in Northallerton. She said: “We were seeking to move to a more rural environment. We put our names on the waiting list and were delighted when we were offered one of the properties in Welbury.
“The new heating systems means the house always feels warm and it’s nice to know that it’s more environmentally friendly, and a lot cheaper, than having oil-fired heating.
“We’ve also got superfast broadband, which is important to me as I work from home, and the village generally has a real sense of community. We couldn’t be happier.”
Mr Sunak, who was accompanied on the visit by Kate Henderson, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “Sustainable rural communities depend on having a range of property available – including homes for rent like these in Welbury which, thanks to Broadacres’ green investment, are affordable to run too.”
Gail Teasdale, chief executive of Broadacres, said: “Broadacres is continuing to build new affordable homes across our operating area of North Yorkshire.
“But we also realise the importance of ensuring our existing homes continue to be safe, secure and warm. Our customers told us that keeping warm in their homes is a major problem particularly with rising energy bills.
“Our affordable warmth programme is addressing this and involves a range of measures including heating upgrades, insulation improvements and window and door replacements.
“At Welbury we saw the opportunity to redevelop the last two affordable homes in this lovely village, make them more energy efficient and ensure rural communities like this are sustained for future generations.”