New home for triplet tenants

This trio of sleeping santas may be blissfully unaware, but they are about to spend Christmas in their parents' first and affordable new home. Four-month-old triplets Olivia, Caitlin and Finley have set up roost in a plush pad within a new estate on the site of the former Little Plumstead Hospital, near Norwich.

This trio of sleeping santas may be blissfully unaware, but they are about to spend Christmas in their parents' first and affordable new home.

Four-month-old triplets Olivia, Caitlin and Finley have set up roost in a plush pad within a new estate on the site of the former Little Plumstead Hospital, near Norwich.

Their parents, Kayleigh Brown, 21, and 28-year-old mechanic Timothy Stevenson are among tenants given a chance to get on the housing ladder by either renting from Broadland Housing Association or using a part-rent, part-purchase scheme.

Like many of their neighbours, the couple did not have a chance of owning their own property but are delighted to have been given a chance of a three-bedroom home for their young brood which falls within their budget.

Yesterday, the first few families to have moved in to the little community got together to mark the completion of the development in time for Christmas. "Broadland were really, really good," said Miss Brown, who had to give up her job as a hairdresser to care for the triplets.

"There was no way I could get my own home, but I was offered this and it's really lovely with a big garden for the children."

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Michael Newey, chief executive of Broadland Housing, said: "I wish all of our tenants a really merry Christmas in their new homes.

"The completion of these homes in Norwich brings the total number of new affordable homes delivered by us in Norfolk this year to 258. We are looking forward to delivering many more affordable homes that are so badly needed in this region."

A family who have never owned their own home before, and asked not to be named due to problems at their Norwich address, have joined a part-buy scheme at Little Plumstead.

"As long as we put a deposit down then we're buying 75pc of it," the husband explained. "But even with that, it's still more affordable - I've never had my own home and I'd have no chance of buying one.

"It was an opportunity to get on the housing ladder because we could not afford the deposit and a mortgage otherwise."

He added that their stake worked out at the equivalent of buying a £120,000 home and the reasonable repayments were topped up with a rent of just over £200 a quarter.

The hospital, which opened in the 1920s, had been scaled down in the past few years with most patients, mainly adults with learning difficulties, rehomed in the community.

Some buildings, including the Broadland Clinic secure unit, remain on site.