A former care home in Birmingham has been transformed into accommodation for people at risk of homelessness.
Two local charities, Bournville Village Trust and Spring Housing Association with help from Edward Cadbury Trust have worked together to give the property in Bournville a new lease of life. The property will now provide a home for five people who have been homeless or are at risk of homelessness.
As well as a secure home, residents of the property will receive support from Spring Housing Association such as help with employment, health and tenancy readiness.
The partnership comes as homelessness and rough sleeping continue to be a growing and serious issue in Birmingham.
A total of 91 people were found sleeping rough in Birmingham on one night last November during the official ‘rough sleeper count’, up 60% on last year and over 3,000 people also present themselves as homeless to the council each year.
Annette Homer, Director of Housing and Community Services at Bournville Village Trust, said: “We are really pleased to have worked with Spring Housing Association to take a property that was no longer fit for purpose for former residents and transform it into accommodation that will support people in our city.
“By offering those who are homeless or at the risk of homeless a safe and secure home with the support they need to move on, they are able to start their journey to independence.
“We are particularly pleased that since the partnership with Spring Housing Association began, we have been able to house three residents in their own properties and therefore released three places for Spring Housing Association to provide more support.”
Dominic Bradley, Managing Director of Spring Housing Association, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be in partnership with Bournville Village Trust. The Trust has a rich history in bridging housing and social inequalities and we are delighted with how our partnership has developed in the past few months pulling this scheme together.
“Spring was developed to assist those with the most housing need and we focus on long-term housing-based solutions and we feel we share a common value with Bournville Village Trust on what is such a key issue in our society.”
The property, a former home for people with learning disabilities, closed last year after it was no longer deemed fit for purpose, due to its structure and physical environment, and occupancy rates fell.
Bournville Village Trust is one of the first housing associations to support the West Midlands Combined Authority’s ‘Housing First’ initiative a pilot, led by Birmingham City Council. The initiative aims to provide intensive support to individuals with a history of rough sleeping, getting them into affordable housing that can be sustained to break this cycle.