Our show home at St Mary’s Place in Kidderminster officially opens

Posted on August 23rd, 2021 by Laura Pickett

The show home on our St Mary’s Place development in Kidderminster has officially opened!

The site is the largest Citizen and Signature New Homes site of mixed tenure.

Once completed, it will be made up of 49 shared ownership, 100 outright sale and 91 affordable rented homes.

To reflect its connection to the local area and to add history to the site, the development has been named after the local church – St Mary’s – and the house types which have been named after vicars in the local parish.

Our Head of Sales Annette Baskett said: “We’re so pleased to see our show home open at St Mary’s Place in Kidderminster, this is our flagship site for both Signature New Homes and Citizen.

“We wanted to add a bit of history and local connection to the development so we decided to name it after the local church in Kidderminster – many sites in the area are named after what Kiddermister is famous for, which is carpets, but we wanted to choose something different.

“This development is ideal for first time buyers and families and the Help to Buy scheme is also available on selected Signature properties.

“Our beautiful show home will highlight the quality of the build and the fixtures and fittings available to our buyers, it also helps customers to visualise what their new homes will look like when they are complete.”

Our beautiful show home will highlight the quality of the build and the fixtures and fittings available to our buyers

The properties for sale are a mixture of two, three- and four-bedroom homes and are priced from £198,500.

The team vicar of St Mary and All Saints, Father Simon Archer said: “St Mary and All Saints Church has held a special place in the life of Kidderminster for centuries – it is where all stages of the journey of life have been marked and celebrated.

“St Mary’s has been a central church for Kidderminster.  As the new homes of St Mary’s Place rise from the loss of past industry, we hope both church and homes will be signs of hope for the future.”

The first new homes will be ready to move into in November 2021 and the site is expected to be completed 2024.

The sales office is open by appointment only from Tuesday to Sunday, 10.30am to 3.30pm.

Contact the sales team to book an appointment by emailing sales@citizenhousing.org.uk

Find out more about St Mary’s Place.

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We receive Cyber Essentials certification

Posted on August 19th, 2021 by Laura Pickett

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve received IASME Cyber Essentials certification.

Cyber Essentials is a Government backed scheme which focuses on five important technical controls which are designed to guard against the most common internet based cyber security threats.

It allows organisations of all sizes to demonstrate their commitment to cyber security.

Our Information Security and Technology Manager Mike Platts says: “This is great news for Citizen in terms of cyber security!

“Cyber Essentials is the UK Government’s answer to a safer internet space for organisations of all sizes, across all sectors.

“It is considered essential for a more secure network and it protects those who achieve certification from 80% of the most basic cyber security breaches.

“We’re committed to preventing our systems and data from security breaches here at Citizen and gaining Cyber Essentials certification really helps us achieve this and shows our commitment to keeping our systems and our customers information safe.

Gaining Cyber Essentials certification really shows our commitment to keeping our systems and our customers information safe.

“Thank you to everyone in our ICT team who has worked with me to achieve this certification. Next year, we’ll be going for Cyber Essentials+ certification!”

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We’re building a new retirement living block in Coventry

Posted on January 28th, 2021 by Laura Pickett

We are building a new retirement living block in Coventry after plans were recently approved by planners.

The Ebbw Vale development in Cheylesmore, Coventry will provide 30 one-bedroom flats. It will replace our existing retirement living accommodation at Eric Inott House, as well as the previous building that was at the site – an over 55’s development of 16 flats – which was demolished a few years ago.

The new three storey development will provide the over 55s with modern day homes and the complex will also be all-electric.

It will have photovoltaic panels on the roof which will contribute towards the running costs of communal lighting and reduce the service charges for our customers.

Our Executive Director of Development Nick Byrne said: “We’re really pleased to start work on this scheme which will provide modern housing for the over 55s.

“The development is part of a programme of works to replace our existing elderly person accommodation, specifically Eric Inott House, and the accommodation previously at the site, with modern day homes.

“The development will provide a facility that will serve the needs of residents for years to come allowing them to remain in the community which they are part of.

“We have worked hard with our Retirement Living team and Asset Management team to formulate the design and specification of the building – it’s been a fantastic cross team effort.”

Work on the development is set to start in May 2021 and the development is expected to be completed by December 2022.

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Ricoh Arena donates Christmas dinners to one of our retirement living schemes

Posted on December 23rd, 2020 by Laura Pickett

Yesterday staff from the Ricoh Arena donated 30 Christmas dinners to customers at our Stretton Lodge retirement living scheme in Coventry.

Ricoh Arena Head Chef Nathan Levitt kindly donated his time over the last few days to make 150 Christmas dinners for people in need across Warwickshire. We were delighted to accept 30 Christmas dinners giving all our residents at Stretton Lodge an early Christmas treat!

Local companies including Delware North and Wasps Rugby Football Club kindly donated the food to help make Nathan’s kind version a reality.

Our Retirement Living Manager Tim Ansell says: “What a lovely treat this is for our residents at Stretton Lodge. After an awful year this year I couldn’t help but smile when our customers eagerly came to collect their early Christmas dinner.

After an awful year this year I couldn’t help but smile when our customers eagerly came to collect their early Christmas dinner

“I’d like to thank the Ricoh team, especially Nathan, for giving up his time to make this happen. I’d also like to thank everyone who donated the food too. It just goes to show, when we all pull together great things can happen! Merry Christmas everyone!”

Nathan says: “It was brilliant delivering some of our Christmas dinners to Stretton Lodge today. Christmas is a time for giving and after the year we’ve all had it felt like this was the least I could do to help the people of Warwickshire. It feels great to give something back and I hope everyone enjoyed the food!”

Geraldine Leary, who lives at Stretton Lodge, adds: “Thanks for choosing us as one of your beneficiaries Nathan. The early Christmas dinner certainly brightened up our Tuesday and is a wonderful treat just before Christmas. I’m sure you’ve put a smile on a lot of people’s faces across Warwickshire today!”

As well as residents living at our Stretton Lodge retirement living scheme, Helping Hands Leamington and the Financial Inclusion Group also benefited from the Christmas dinners.

Merry Christmas everyone!



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We’ve made Inside Housing’s top 50 Biggest Builders list

Posted on July 21st, 2020 by Laura Pickett

We have been named in the annual top 50 Biggest Builders list compiled by Inside Housing.

The survey ranks housing associations by the total number of completions in 2018/2019.

This year we were ranked at number 42 after completing 377 homes. Of these 174 were affordable rent and 84 were social rent. We invested £51.7m in these properties.

Our Executive Director of Development Nick Byrne said: “It’s fantastic news that we have made the top 50 in Inside Housing’s Biggest Builders list.

We are a Midlands based housing association and it’s great that our work is being recognised alongside other national builders in the top 50 who work across a larger area.

“We are committed to building more homes across the West Midlands so that we can give more people a foundation for life.”

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Our HR Team have won an IRIS Customer Award

Posted on February 12th, 2020 by Laura Pickett

We’re delighted to announce that our HR Team won the HR Transformation Project of the Year award at the IRIS Customer Awards last night.

The IRIS Customer Awards, held at the ICC Birmingham, focus on celebrating and showcasing excellence amongst their tens of thousands of customers. The awards focus on Accountancy, HR, Payroll, Education and Corporate Social Responsibility.

The team won the HR Transformation Project of the Year award following their successful implementation of Myplace, our new HR and Payroll system which launched last summer.

Our Director of People, Matt Posaner, says: “What a fantastic achievement! I’m so pleased for the team.

“The development of our Myplace HR and Payroll System has made significant improvements to the way we store, process and manage our HR and Payroll information.

“The change provided by this intuitive system has been really well received by staff across our organisation.

“Well done to the HR project team who worked so hard to deliver this big piece of work. You should all be extremely proud of what you have achieved.”

Elona Mortimer-Zhika, IRIS CEO, adds: “We’re delighted that Citizen has won our Transformation Project of the Year award.

“We’ve seen an exceptionally high standard of entries this year, demonstrating once more the achievements of our customers in their respective specialist sectors and the contribution they make to communities. It’s very pleasing to see their individual success stories and how IRIS has helped play its part.

“Our judges were spoilt for choice when picking a winner. It’s a fantastic achievement that Citizen won this category.”

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Wasp rugby players cook Christmas dinner for our Gateway residents

Posted on December 19th, 2019 by Laura Pickett

Yesterday two rugby players from Coventry Wasps made our residents’ day at the Gateway by serving them Christmas dinner.

Gateway is our primary facility for homeless people in Coventry and houses people from all backgrounds.

Wasp players Tommy Taylor and Matteo Minozzi brought the festive spirit to the Gateway by helping volunteers put on a traditional turkey roast lunch for over 60 residents at the Gateway.

The Salvation Army, which provide the Gateway’s support service, sourced the food and volunteers to make the special day happen.

The Wasps are also donating 200 tickets to Gateway residents and friends to their Christmas Cracker event this Saturday (December 21st) as the Club take on Harlequins at Ricoh Arena.

The Club’s supporters have also been donating items for 30 shoe boxes full of goodies for residents. This includes food, clothing and toys which will be given to residents on Christmas day.

Our Housing Support Manager, Gail Cooper, says: “What a treat for our residents at the Gateway!

“It’s been such a fantastic day seeing our residents having fun mingling with the Wasp players.

“I can’t thank the players enough for giving up their time to put a smile on their faces.

“The donations from the Wasps supporters are fantastic too.”

It’s these little gestures that really make Christmas special for our residents

Michaela Campbell, Programme Coordinator at The Salvation Army, says: “Christmas is one of the most difficult times of the year for disadvantaged communities.

“I can’t thank the Wasp players, their generous supporters and all our volunteers enough for making our Christmas lunch happen and for really making the Gateway residents feel special this Christmas”.

Wasp rugby player, Tommy Taylor, says: “What a fantastic day!

“The Club’s supporters have been extremely generous in donating food, clothes and toys at previous matches. Going out into the community to meet the people who will be receiving the items first hand has been so rewarding.

“I really hope everyone enjoyed the day as much as I did. Merry Christmas everyone!”

Karl Meah, one of our residents at the Gateway, adds: “I can’t believe our luck at the Gateway today!

“It’s been great having Christmas dinner with Tommy and Matteo. I can’t wait to receive my shoe box full of goodies from Wasp supporters on Christmas day.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for being so generous. I hope our Christmas day is as good as this!”

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Our Development team is shortlisted for a Building Communities award

Posted on December 18th, 2019 by Laura Pickett

Our Development team have been shortlisted for Development Strategy of the Year at the Building Communities Awards.

The awards recognise teams that have taken part in ambitious development programmes for social housing which contribute to successful communities.

Our Development team have been commended for smashing their targets, signing a landmark deal as part of a strategic partnership with Homes England and initiating a modular pilot.

Some other achievements for the team in the last year include:

Our Executive Director of Development Nick Byrne said: “We are so pleased to have been shortlisted for this award.

“The team have done incredibly well, and it is great to see them recognised for their hard work.

We are committed to accelerating construction and innovation as well as improving quality standards and it is great to be shortlisted for these.

“We’ve got our fingers crossed for the ceremony in February.”

The judges will be looking for a clever approach to procurement with maximised use of available sites and resources, along with unique and innovative design and planning.

The awards will take place in Leicester on February 28, 2020.

Fingers crossed for the team!

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Our Development Team are shortlisted for two Inside Housing Development Awards

Posted on September 17th, 2019 by Laura Pickett

Our Development Team has been shortlisted for two awards at this year’s Inside Housing Development Awards.

The team are hoping to collect the Best Development Team and the Best Approach to Modular Construction award, following on from the completion of our first two modular homes in Littlethorpe, Willenhall, Coventry this summer.

The final ceremony will take place on Wednesday 27th November at The Intercontinental O2 Hotel in London.

The Inside Housing Development Awards are the most prestigious in the sector and are an opportunity for landlords, developers and architects to celebrate the best developments and teams across the UK.

Our Development Team had a truly outstanding year last financial year; from smashing their targets for completions, starts and sales, to signing a landmark deal as part of a strategic partnership with Homes England and initiating our first modular pilot.

Nick Byrne, our Executive Director of Development, said: “This is fantastic news for our organisation and recognises a huge amount of hard work that the team has done over the last year.

“To get some early recognition as Citizen is excellent and will help us to build our reputation as an organisation which delivers quality homes.”

You can find out who our Development Team are up against at the awards ceremony here.

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Major £12m regeneration project to transform Spon End in Coventry

Posted on September 2nd, 2019 by Laura Pickett

A major regeneration project will transform an area of Coventry originally built in the 1960s over the next four years.

This announcement comes on the day we officially become Citizen, meaning Family Housing Association, Optima Community Association, West Mercia Homes, Whitefriars Housing and WM Housing no longer exist.

We will invest £12m in Spon End with high-quality improvement works to be carried out to 158 flats in three blocks – Kerry House, Milestone House and Trafalgar House. This will include considering options for new affordable homes to be built at the site.

It comes after a survey of residents showed many wanted investment in the area to try to tackle issues like anti-social behavior and fly-tipping, as well as improvements to their homes.

The work will see the blocks transformed in appearance and quality including the installation of new roofs, doors and windows, work to make the homes warmer and more energy efficient and improved security through the creation of new entrance ways and the demolition of some walkways.

The news comes after we announced a £21million regeneration in nearby Wyken in July, including the demolition of a tower block, the refurbishment of another and plans to build new houses in the area.

Our Chief Executive, Kevin Rodgers, says: “We’re delighted to be able to announce this major regeneration project in Spon End – our second in as many months.

“Together with the work we are doing in Wyken this represents a £35million investment to transform two communities over the next five years.”

“When we spoke to residents in Spon End many told us they were experiencing issues and would like to see improvements. We believe it is our duty to deal with those issues and that is what we are doing this.

“We are committed to continuing to invest in Coventry as Citizen and give more people a home and a foundation for life.”

“This is just the start for us as Citizen, we want to continue to lead the way in regeneration and significantly increase our development programme and the range of services we provide to support our communities.”

The process of procuring a developer partner for the regeneration projects has started. They will be appointed in summer 2020 and a detailed consultation with residents will follow.

Cllr David Welsh, Deputy Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities at Coventry City Council, added: “It’s great to see that this area of Coventry is set to be regenerated over the next few years.

“Residents living in the area have said what they would like to see improved and Citizen have listened to what they have to say.

“We must continue to work together to further develop the social housing that is available to the population. Any step in this direction is positive.”

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