One of the first residents to move into a new state-of-the-art Oldham Council home says it has "given her family a whole new world."
Louise has received the keys to a brand-new modern house at Primrose Bank.
The council say it purchased 19 of the eco-friendly, five-bedroom properties to provide much-needed affordable family accommodation.
And now Louise and her four children are looking forward to calling it home.
She said: “Oldham Council and everyone who has made this possible has changed mine and my children’s future. You have given us a new world literally.
“We were previously living in a top floor two-bedroom maisonette – it was cramped, nobody had their own space and I had even had to convert the utility room into a bedroom.
“Our new home is a kingdom! It has opened up so many opportunities for my family and for my children to thrive and prosper. It is amazing and it will change our lives.”
Over the coming weeks, families will move into seven of the homes with the remaining 12 due to be handed over in late February.
The homes on Ashton Road and Lee Street provide the borough with a type of housing which is in desperately short supply.
Each home will be let at affordable rent – up to 80 per cent of market rent.
The new eco-friendly homes at Primrose Bank, Oldham
Cllr Hannah Roberts, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We are so happy to see the first families moving into their new homes and we wish them every happiness for the future.
“These homes will make a real difference to the lives of local families for many years.
“With more properties coming forward, I urge anyone on the council’s housing register who needs a home of this type, to keep an eye out for the property advert and bid.”
Each home features world-leading renewable energy equipment including photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and modern electrical heating - reducing carbon emissions and each property’s reliance on the National Grid.
The smart technology has been fitted as part of a project called RED WoLF (Rethink Electricity Distribution Without Load Following) – an Interreg North-West Europe programme funded by the EU, which Oldham Council is a key partner in.
It combines solar PV renewable energy generation with battery storage and modern storage heaters. This allows the homes to use renewable energy within the property, as well as to store grid electricity when nobody wants it. Some utilities offer time-of-use tariffs which this new technology can take advantage of to keep bills low.
Cllr Abdul Jabbar, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Green, said: “This is another fantastic scheme which demonstrates Oldham’s commitment to fighting climate change and being the greenest borough in Greater Manchester.
“Not only will the sustainable technology make a positive difference to our environment, it will also reduce residents’ energy bills and save them money.
“We’re proud to be one of only six pilot schemes in the UK, Ireland and France and this combined with many other innovative projects across Oldham is paving the way for our ambitions to becoming carbon neutral as an organisation by 2025 and to leading the borough to carbon neutrality by 2030.”
Great Places Housing Group is managing the new homes on behalf of Oldham Council. The development was built by Engie Regeneration.
Louise's children celebrating their new home.