New build bungalows for older people in need
To provide a safe place to live for older people, within a neighbourhood community


Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) is one of the largest almshouse charities in the country. It emerged from the vision of Joseph Hopper, a miner and lay preacher. He believed that a man who had served in the coal mines all his life deserved better than to be evicted from his tied colliery home when retiring. Established in 1898, the Association traditionally provided homes for mineworkers but now anyone over the age of 50 can apply for a tenancy.

The Association has around 1,700 homes, mostly bungalows, on 130 sites in 80 towns and villages in the North East of England. Located mainly in the former coal field communities of County Durham, these provide retirement housing for more than 2,000 people.



DAMHA’s relationship with CAF Bank began when they switched their banking to us in 2014. Our support extended from there, to provide a £2 million secured loan in 2015 and a second loan facility in 2019.

“We were looking for a bank which could provide a personal service and ensure we were not lost just because we are a smaller organisation. CAF Bank offered good terms and stable long-term loans,” explains Paul Mullis, Chief Executive, about the decision to select CAF Bank as DAMHA’s preferred lender for loan finance.

“CAF Bank provide a personal, friendly and individualised service and we are really happy with the partnership we have with them,” he says.



With CAF Bank’s support, DAMHA has completed three affordable housing projects, a 24-home development in the town of Consett, a 19-home scheme in the town of Houghton-le-Spring, and a 13-home development in the village of Philadelphia. The Ashdale Road, Consett scheme has been shortlisted for an Inside Housing Development Award.

Philadelphia village residents, Wyn and Harry Boll, explained the attractions of their new home, “We wanted to stay in the area because our friends and family are here. So when we heard about the new homes in Philadelphia, we were very keen and hoped we would be high enough up the waiting list to get one.  We were over the moon to be invited to view one of the properties and we still can’t believe how nice they are. They are in a quiet cul-de-sac which feels so safe and secure.  It is like being in a luxury holiday home, only better, because it is just for us!”.

With an average of two people living in each of the homes, more than 100 people are benefiting from these three schemes completed using the first loan. Many tenants moved into their new homes from larger family properties which were no longer suitable for their needs and this has had a major positive impact on their lives.

“The support we have received from CAF Bank has enabled us to continue our development programme, which is helping us to meet one of our core aims of providing affordable housing – particularly two-bedroom bungalows which are in high demand and short supply – for older people in the former coal field communities of County Durham and the wider North East,” says Mullis.



Understand your beneficiaries

DAMHA have worked over many years to understand the needs of those they work with. Putting beneficiaries first steers not only the design of their retirement homes, but also the ongoing support provided for residents.



Flexible loan finance and a partner who understands your business model can help you get your project off the ground. Find out how.

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