TENANTS of York’s first new council houses in more than 20 years took part yesterday in naming their new street Archer Close in honour of former Lord Mayor of York, Jack Archer.

The event marked the official opening of the 19 new homes in Clifton, funded by £1.12 million from the Homes and Communities Agency.

The houses – nine two-bed and ten three-bedroom houses – have photovoltaic solar panels and high levels of insulation, making them highly sustainable.

“The fact that these homes will be built to the highest standards means that not only will tenants save money on their utility bills, but also there will be less CO2 produced helping to protect the environment for future generations,” said Abdul A Ravat, area manager for the agency.

The ceremony was part of York’s first ever Housing Week, which aims to bring residents and tenants, builders and landlords from the private and social housing sectors together, with talks, visits and meetings across the city given by leading academics and professionals.

Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, City of York Council cabinet member for housing, said she was honoured to be speaking at the naming ceremony of the first newly-built and much-needed – council houses in the city in over 20 years.

“The sustainable build and insulation level of the houses is excellent and shows how we as a council strive to help tenants live in healthy, comfortable and affordable homes that are designed for life time living, a standard that we aspire to meet for homes across the city.”

Coun Archer’s daughter, Brenda Brooking, who attended the opening, said she had been “surprised and excited” when she heard the first council house development in 20 years was being named Archer Close in memory of her father, who died in 2010 aged 90.

“I think he would have been very proud, especially as he was chairman of housing on the old York City Council for a number of years,” she said.

Tenants praised their new homes, with one couple, David and Margaret, saying they had hardly needed to put their heating on so far because of the good insulation, and good access arrangements would be helpful for their two-year-old son, Kei, who had cerebral palsy.