A Darlington family’s dream of a ‘forever’ home has come true after being handed the keys to their new Council house in Branksome.

Tracy Walmsley and son Tyler, 12, have had to move twice in recent years following the sale of their privately rented homes. It’s proved particularly unsettling for Tyler who relies on routine as he has ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder) and Autism.

They are now among the latest tenants to move into the newly-built properties in Sherborne Close and are looking forward to creating what Tyler calls their “forever home”.

Tracy, who is also mum to daughter Lauren, 24, and works part-time, explained:

“Tyler does take a long time to get used to a new place, so when we had to move it’s been really unsettling for him.

“I found out about the sale of our current home back in February and our landlord did try her best to sell it on to someone who would continue to let it, but it didn’t work out.

“We’d been keen to secure a Council property and when we saw these houses being built, Tyler kept asking to go take a look. When we found out we were lucky enough to get one, he was so excited!

“He couldn’t wait to view it and he already knows which room will be his. He keeps asking me ‘We’ve got a house for good now haven’t we mam, it’s our forever home?’ It really is a dream come true for us both.”

Councillor Andy Scott, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, who presented Tracy with the keys to the family’s new home, said:

“We’re delighted that Tracy and her son Tyler can look forward to settling in to their new home and hope they’ll be very happy here for many years to come.

“The Council is making a major investment of housing revenue from rents to build new, good quality council homes, to Lifetime Homes standards, for tenants. Many have already been successfully let but we still have more than 1,670 applicants for council housing in Darlington and these new properties will help us meet these needs.”

Sherborne Close boasts a mix of 12 two-bedroom apartments in two storey blocks and six three-bedroom semi-detached houses. It is the latest phase of an ambitious scheme by Darlington Borough Council to build 160 much-needed, new council homes by the end of the year.

So far, the council has invested £20.1m of housing revenue funds and also secured £3.2m from the Homes and Communities Agency to support the building programme. A further new build programme is currently being worked up for 2018 onwards.

The ground floor apartments boast a lowered threshold to allow wheelchair access as well as level access bathing and all the apartments include parking bays to the front.

All of the properties benefit from a fully-fitted kitchen with wall and base units in maple, black worktops and grey floor tiles along with space for a washing machine, cooker and fridge/freezer. They also boast a combi boiler sited within one of the kitchen wall units, fire/smoke alarms as well as double glazed windows and doors.

The building programme has seen a range of new homes, both apartments and houses, created on sites across the borough including several locations within Red Hall as part of a £5.5m regeneration of the area. Others sites include Lascelles Park and Skerne Park, while another 30 flats and 32 houses are also under construction in Allington Way, Lingfield.

Anyone interested in the new developments or any other council properties available to rent can log onto the website atwww.darlington.gov.uk/housing/finding-a-home/applying-for-a-council-home/ or contact Customer Services on 01325 405333.