Housing association property is a ‘new start’ for Risby family

Zoe Birch, 36, at her new home in Risby.
Zoe Birch, 36, at her new home in Risby.

A mum who faced having to leave the village where she has lived all her life says her family have been ‘given a new start’ thanks to a housing association development.

Zoe Birch is renting a three bedroom home in Risby after moving from a cramped privately-rented house in the village, where her sons Marley, 18, and Harry, 11, had to share a bedroom and sleep in bunkbeds.

The entrance to Suffolk Housing's new development in Risby.

The entrance to Suffolk Housing's new development in Risby.

Her new home is one of six properties developed by Suffolk Housing at a cost of £710,252.

Four are rented and two are shared ownership, while all have been made available to people with a link to Risby.

Zoe, 36, who works at a nursing home in the village, said: “I can’t explain how I felt when I found out we had got the house - I still get really emotional now.

“It has made such a big difference to me and my family - there are not enough words to describe it.

“It’s a gift - I feel as though we’ve been given a new start.”

She has lived in Risby all her life and her mum, auntie, great uncle, sister, nieces and nephews also reside in the village.

Zoe added: “If we hadn’t been offered this house we would have been forced to move out of the village, which would have turned all of our lives upside down.

“I don’t drive so couldn’t have kept my job, plus it would have meant a change of school for Harry.”

Sue Philp, Suffolk Housing chief executive, said: “We’re delighted that our latest scheme in Risby has made such a huge difference to Zoe and her family, as well as our other tenants who have moved to the site.”