Scheme helps mum stay where heart is

Tara Wagstaff with her daughter Elouize outside their new house in Bozeat
Tara Wagstaff with her daughter Elouize outside their new house in Bozeat

A mother who was on the brink of leaving the village she grew up in after being priced out of the market has been rescued by an affordable housing scheme.

With two-bed homes costing up to £170,000, Tara Wagstaff, 27, whose family has lived in Bozeat for generations, could not afford to stay.

But, just as the mum-of-two had resigned herself to leaving, she spotted a property owned by Northamptonshire Rural Housing Association (NRHA), which provides affordable housing in villages and market towns.

The childminder applied for the three-bed house in Pit Field Close and has now moved in with her children Liam, four, and Elouize, one.

She said: “I’ve never been happier than on that day.

“Moving here has felt like coming home. My mum and aunt live in the village and Liam goes to the same primary school I attended – one of my old teachers still works there.

“It’s such a great place to live, there’s a traditional sense of community, and I know I want to be here for many years to come.”

Miss Wagstaff’s late grandfather was well-known in the area as the village handyman and a bench to commemorate his life can be found in the cemetery.

Her great-grandfather worked at the John Drage and Son boot and shoe factory in Hope Street.

NRHA charges an average of £376 per month for a two-bed property, while renting the same size home in Bozeat through the private sector can cost £650.

David Coren, the company’s chairman, said: “Stories like Tara’s are exactly the reason we do what we do.”