WINTER in Bangor’s ‘Tin Town’ proved a warmer experience than usual thanks to a major refurbishment scheme by the Housing Executive.
The aluminium bungalows are a familiar sight in the Bloomfield area, having been erected in 1946 as temporary prefab post wartime accommodation.
Residents say they are delighted with the makeover which has made the homes much more energy efficient.
With the help of money from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) nine bungalows benefited from cladding being put on external walls, new roofs, chimneys and doors.
Tenant Mechelle Davey, who shares her home with her two children, said: “It’s a fantastic job, our bungalow is so much warmer than it was before.
“Before the house was draughty and once the heating was turned off it became cold very quickly.
“We also live on the main road which is very busy with traffic and thanks to the double glazing I find it is a lot quieter now.
“The improvements have really changed my bungalow, it feels like a brand new home and it’s warm and cosy. I’m really proud of it, it’s amazing.”
The bungalows were included in the Housing Executive Thermal Comfort Scheme with the work taking 18 months at a total cost of £316,000.
Eileen Thompson, the Housing Executive’s area manager for North Down, said: “This was a great scheme and feedback from our tenants has been very positive.
“We are delighted that we’ve been able to make these homes much more comfortable and energy efficient for our tenants and hope they will enjoy their newly upgraded bungalows.”
About 2,000 aluminium prefab houses were built across Northern Ireland during the late 1940s as a temporary solution to the post-WW11 housing shortage and today a few still survive.
Although the original aluminium walls provided little protection from the cold weather, when the bungalows were first erected, they actually improved living standards for many families.
Equipped with new kitchens and an indoor toilet, they were a luxury for some in the post-war period.
Prefab developments were a precursor to today’s council estates.