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Former care home repurposed to help the homeless

A former Birmingham care home has been transformed into accommodation for people at risk of homelessness.

Charities Bournville Village Trust and Spring Housing Association have worked together to give the property in Bournville a new lease of life.

It will now provide a home for five people who have been homeless or are at risk of homelessness, following a makeover partly funded by the Edward Cadbury Trust.

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 issues in the city.

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 city council each year in Birmingham.

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.

Spring Housing Association, which was formed five years ago, will now manage the building, owned by Bournville Village Trust, and provide support.

As well as its partnership with Spring Housing Association, Bournville Village Trust has become the first housing association to support the West Midlands Combined Authority’s ‘Housing First’ initiative.

The pilot, led by Birmingham City Council, 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.

Bournville Village Trust was founded by chocolate maker and philanthropist George Cadbury in 1900 and is a housing association and registered charity.

Spring Housing Association, formed five years, works with people in need of accommodation and tenancy-related support across the West Midlands.

They work in conjunction with the private sector and housing associations to provide general needs and specialist services to care leavers, people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and Syrian refuges.

For more information about Spring Housing Association, visit www.springhousing.org.uk

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