First Rainham residents move into new homes after regeneration of notorious estate

CELEBRATIONS are taking place on one of the most famous estates in London, as tenants begin to move into their brand new homes.

The moves mark the drawing to a close of the first phase of the �80 million regeneration programme on the notorious Mardyke Estate in Rainham – which hit the big screen last year in the films Made In Dagenham and Fish Tank.

Hayley Hart who was an extra in Made in Dagenham and has lived on the Mardyke for ten years got the keys to her new flat today (Tuesday).

She said: “I used to feel ashamed of where I lived, and very guilty that I was having to bring up my children there. Now, it’s like I’ve won the lottery. I honestly feel like I can actually start enjoying life now.

“My home is absolutely gorgeous and my family is absolutely over the moon. We are just all so happy.”

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The regeneration will see most of the existing properties – including six tower blocks – demolished and replaced with modern, high quality low-rise homes, thanks to Old Ford Housing Association, part of housing provider Circle Anglia.

A total of 555 new homes will be built to re-house existing tenants, who have renamed the estate Orchard Village.

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The first phase of the scheme will see 121 households swapping old homes for new.

The 1960s estate was originally built to house workers at the old Ford Motor Company factory in Dagenham.

However, when the factory laid off workers, the estate slowly became dilapidated, and became notorious for crime.

Residents voted for a housing stock transfer from the council to Old Ford Housing Association, as part of Havering Council’s programme to regenerate the South Hornchurch and Rainham area. Old Ford took over the estate in March 2008.

June Morton, managing director of Old Ford said: “This has to be the most exciting time of any regeneration project – seeing residents move into their new homes, and watching them reap the benefits.”

Havering Council cabinet member for transformation with special responsibility for Rainham, Cllr Michael Armstrong, said: “This marks an important milestone in the redevelopment of the Orchard Village. While this is just one aspect of the long-term Rainham Compass regeneration programme, it is extremely satisfying to see the real difference the improvements are already making to residents and families in the area.”

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