Home is best Christmas gift of all

AFTER eight years on a council house waiting list one Ipswich woman had almost given up hope of ever getting a home.But today she has the keys to a brand new house in her grasp and says this present will allow her family to have the best Christmas ever.

AFTER eight years on a council house waiting list one Ipswich woman had almost given up hope of ever getting a home.

But today she has the keys to a brand new house in her grasp and says this present will allow her family to have the best Christmas ever.

Alison Carter, who currently lives in Britannia Road with her partner and two daughters, was more than a little surprised when she found out she would be getting a new home.

She said: "I really didn't think the day would ever come that we would be offered a house so it has been totally out of the blue.

"I received a letter from the council asking me to call them. When I got through to them they told me we had been nominated for a house on a new estate in Ipswich and I cried down the phone. It just seemed like a dream.

"We have had to rent privately for the last eight years which is very costly and means we have less money to spend on the girls.

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"Finding out we now have a three bedroom, affordable house is the best present anyone could ever have given us."

To make the occasion even more special Miss Carter and her partner of nine years, Michael Watchman, were invited to pick up the keys to the house, in Gibson Close, from Santa himself.

Even Miss Carter's two daughters Stephanie, 14, and Carys, 12, went along to the event, on December 17, when eight houses were handed over to their new occupants.

The houses have been built by housing association English Churches Housing Group (Echg), at a cost of £1.7million.

Pete Husbands, regional Services Manager for ECHG, said: "It's a great time to be welcoming families to their new homes.

"We are pleased to be working in partnership with Ipswich Borough Council to meet the needs of the local community."

Elizabeth Harsant, portfolio holder for housing, said: "This is another example of partnerships working well to make a real difference on the ground. Ipswich Borough Council is very supportive of schemes like this and we shall continue to do so in the future."

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