Birmingham to build homes for heroes

By on 16/03/2011 in News

Birmingham City Council is to become the first local authority in the country to build family homes exclusively for ex-service personnel, after announcing construction is set to begin on 12 new homes, in partnership with the Alderson Trust, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and developer Galliford Try.

Birmingham City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor John Lines said the homes are the first of many planned by the partnership in response to the need of homeless ex-service personnel.

The homes are part of 706 homes that are currently in various stages of development through the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT),the housing building arm of the council. 

The 12 new homes will be built in Bartley Green, South Birmingham, on a 0.72 acre site, which is a short distance from Queen Elizabeth Hospital and right on the edge of the green belt.

Due for completion in 2012, the homes are a mix of houses, bungalows and apartments, which are being built to the highest specification. The Alderson Trust already owns 16 homes in north Birmingham.

A celebratory event to mark the launch of the housing scheme will take place on 16 March 2011 at Bar Nuvo Brindley Place, courtesy of Galliford Try, the developers.

Guests will include people from the Ministry of Defence and those who work with ex-service personnel, including the Royal British Legion and Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA).

Councillor John Lines said:

“We are building homes for our heroes and their families because we believe there should a priority for housing our brave ex-service personnel.

“The homes are part of over 700 we are delivering across Birmingham through the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust.

“In light of the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, we want to support those brave men and women who have served in the military to protect our country and this is one small step we are taking to help tackle the demand for homes, which unfortunately, currently exceeds availability.”

Sergeant Roger Waters (37), has served 8 years in the Army and currently serves in the Territorial Army. He has served in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan during his career. He welcomed news of the new homes:

“It's great to see that something is being done to show that people actually care for those who have served in the forces. The fact that these homes will be available for people like me who are returning from duty is touching. All the lads will appreciate that the council and its partners have gone out of their way to do something positive and show that they appreciate us and support us.”

Chairman of the Alderson Trust and Birmingham's Lord Mayor, Councillor Len Gregory, said: “The Trust's objectives are to house ex-service men and women, giving priority to those with a disability. This is as important today as it was 78 years ago when the Alderson Trust was set up, if not more so, due to the many conflicts around the world.”

Galliford Try Partnerships' Director, Sean Bowles commented: “We are delighted to be working with Birmingham City Council and the HCA on this project and are proud to be delivering quality, sustainable housing for our brave ex-service personnel.”

Alan Bishop, Investment and Regeneration Manager, HCA Midlands, said: “This is an excellent scheme supporting ex-service personnel in Birmingham and is part of a wider development of sites across the city that are receiving a share of £4.7m from the HCA's Public Land Initiative. 
 
“We are working with the Council to deliver 234 new homes through the PLI in Birmingham and this scheme at Bartley Green will deliver 79 of these”.

The council has a close working relationship with the Alderson Trust, which was set up after the Second World War to house servicemen injured in action. The council also has close links with SSAFA and the Royal British Legion.

Ends

Further information from Belinder Kaur Lidher on 0121 303 6969

Notes to editors
1. Artists' impression of new homes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/birminghamnewsroom/sets/72157626271349838/
2. Photo call 16 March, 10:30am at Frankley Lane site. The site is on the junction of Merritts Hill and Frankley Lane, just before entering the lanes and opposite the FHM site (adjacent to 324 Merritts Hill, Northfield, B31). Trustees of the Alderson Trust, Councillor John Lines, representatives from Galliford Try and members of the armed forces will be present.
3. Celebratory event 16 March, 12.30-3pm, at Bar Nuvo Brindley Place, courtesy of Galliford Try. Nuvo Bar, 2 Brunswick Square, Brindley Place, Bham, B1 2LP. Speeches from selected guests. Parking on Sheepcote Street and Brunswick Street.
4. For more information on the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust visit: http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/bmht

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