COUNCILLOR Faye Webber said residents who have moved into newly built affordable homes in Newport have described them as life changing.
The £4.1 million development at St Jospehs Close in Newport has reached completion, providing a mixture of apartments and houses totalling 36 new affordable homes.
The completion of the homes was officially celebrated this morning, when members of the local community, including Mrs Webber, who is the executive member for housing, and Councillor Mike Harrison, had a tour of the new estate.
The 36 homes range from one and two bedroom apartments, to two, three and four bedroom family homes. 27 of the properties are available as affordable rent, and the remaining nine were made available for shared ownership, which were quickly snapped up within a week of becoming available.
Sanctuary has also provided a communal play area and a new cycle and footpath at the site.
Head of South West development for Sanctuary Group, Mike Santon, said he felt the estate would create a unique sense of community.
"The way the housing has been designed is to give it the feel of cul-de-sacs. So there are clusters of a dozen or so house together to allow people to get to know their neighbours and get a real community feel here.
"So far we have had really positive feedback from the residents and the National House Building Council said these were the best social houses they had seen which is a great thing considering how much housing they see."
Eric Bunting, contracts manager for contractor Leadbitter said: "We used local people to help construct these houses, so not only have we provided much needed housing for the local community, but we have been able to provide local people with work."
North Devon Councillor Mike Harrison said that it was great to finally see the houses ready.
"They are very much needed in the area. Newport is in high demand as it has good schools, shops and bus routes, so many people will benefit."
Mrs Webber said seeing the houses built and residents move in is what made her job worthwhile.
"I spoke to one resident who said moving in here had completely changed her life, her and her partner were going to separate as they couldn't cope living in the cramped environment they were in before, but now they have their own space they have stayed together, it makes it all worthwhile for me.
"If I had been on the waiting list for a long time, and moved into one of these houses, I would be over the moon."