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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Former greyhound track in Birmingham transformed as shared ownership homes are completed

Posted on August 28th, 2019 by Laura Pickett

Our first four shared ownership homes built at a former greyhound track have been completed and are ready to move into.

The properties at the former Hall Green greyhound stadium in Birmingham have been built in partnership with one of the UK’s leading housebuilding groups, Galliford Try.

A further 15 shared ownership homes, a block of 32 affordable homes and another block of 36 social rent homes are still being built at the site.

The mixed tenure development will see in total 210 high quality homes built by Galliford Try Partnerships who will sell 110 of them under the Group’s award-winning housebuilding brand, Linden Homes.

Our  100 home development is costing just over £14.5m.

Our Executive Director of Development, Nick Byrne said: “We’re thrilled that the first of our homes at the former Hall Green greyhound stadium have been completed.

“The site is the well known former greyhound track and we’re making great progress on the whole site.

“We are committed to delivering new homes for local people and we hope these first new homes will help some families get a foot on the housing ladder.”

The development is set to be complete by March 2021 and will provide much needed accommodation for both renters and purchasers.

It is a mix of apartments and two and three bedroom homes.

Darren Beale, Regional Director, at Galliford Try Partnerships, added: “It’s great that we are well underway with this development and able to hand over the first of the shared ownership dwellings that are now completed.

“It’s particularly rewarding working with Citizen to deliver this scheme and we are looking forward to handing over the completed development in 2021.”

The development is close to local amenities such as schools, shops and public transport including commuter access to Birmingham New Street station.

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We sign up to the CIH’s domestic abuse awareness campaign

Posted on July 22nd, 2019 by Laura Pickett

We have signed up to the Chartered Institute of Housing’s (CIH) Make a Stand campaign supporting those affected by domestic abuse.

Millions of people suffer from domestic abuse each year and up to two women are killed by their partner or ex partner every week.

Housing associations house millions of people across the UK – so many residents may be affected by this abuse.

Signing up to the campaign means that we have pledged to make four commitments which will help those suffering from domestic abuse.

These include:

This pledge has been developed in partnership with Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance and Women’s Aid – and by publicly agreeing we are acting to support those suffering from domestic abuse.

Our Policy Officer, Lucy Green, says: “It is incredibly important that we support people who are suffering from domestic abuse and supporting the Chartered Institute of Housing’s campaign is a great way to do this.

“So many people suffer from domestic abuse and we need to do everything we can to support them.”

“We are working on ensuring that we complete all four commitments and we will provide staff with updates in due course.

“We are also currently revising our domestic violence and abuse policy to make sure that it aligns with this campaign.”

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Work is well underway to develop 22 new homes in Sandwell

Posted on July 15th, 2019 by Laura Pickett

Work is well underway on a new £3.8m development of 22 new homes in Sandwell.

The site has already been cleared and foundations are being installed at Little Moor Hill in Smethwick.

There will be 11 shared ownership homes and 11 affordable rent homes developed at the site.

The homes will be a mix of two and three bedroom homes.

Our Director of Development, Richard Whittaker, said: “It’s fantastic that work has started in Sandwell which will bring some much-needed affordable homes to the area.

“The development will allow us to satisfy the different needs of people in the area by offering both affordable rents and shared ownership.”

“We have teamed up with developer TC Homes for this development and we are looking forward to seeing it progress.”

Work on the development is expected to be finished by June 2020.

Richard attended the site with Councillor Joanne Hadley from Sandwell Council and representatives from TC Homes to mark the progress of the development.

Councillor Joanne Hadley, Sandwell’s cabinet member for homes, said: “It’s fantastic news to see that more affordable homes are being built in Smethwick.

“We are always looking to find innovative ways and opportunities to increase the number of affordable homes in Sandwell whether by building new council homes ourselves or working with partners such as Citizen. This scheme is a welcome contribution towards our target.”

Tim Charnley, Director at TC Homes, adds: “It’s great to be working with Citizen on this project in Little Moor Hill.

“The range of homes will offer affordable options for future residents and will be finished to a high standard.”

Our Little Moor Hill development is close to Smethwick town centre, parks and sports facilities.

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Major £21million regeneration project to transform Wyken, Coventry over the next five years

Posted on July 8th, 2019 by Laura Pickett

A major £21million regeneration project will see an area of Coventry transformed.

The regeneration of an area of Wyken will be our first major regeneration project as Citizen.

Our Vincent Wyles House tower block which is made up of 144 flats will be demolished and 93 new homes will be built in its place.

Meanwhile, our 15-storey William Malcolm House, made up of 112 flats, will be refurbished. The five year project will be completed in 2024.

A survey of our residents who live in the blocks revealed only one in five said it was a good place to live and 40% said the area needed to be improved with crime and anti-social behaviour topping the list.

Kevin Rodgers, our Chief Executive, says: “This is a fantastic project that will transform an area of Coventry.

“This significant investment represents the renewed commitment we have to improve our homes.”

“We are committed to working with partners to improve the lives of our residents living in Coventry.

“We know that there are a number of issues with these blocks because our residents have told us this. We believe they deserve better and we are determined to deliver that.”

The process of appointing a developer partner has started. Once appointed a consultation will take place with residents on the regeneration project. This is expected to take place in Spring 2020.

Cllr David Welsh, Deputy Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, adds: “I am pleased that this investment has been found to build and refurbish hundreds of homes in Wyken.

“We must continue to work together to further develop the social housing that is available to our growing population. It is a major challenge but any positive steps are very welcome.”

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