Archive for the ‘Housing’ Category

Housing providers partner up to help tenants find their perfect match

Posted on Tuesday 21st May 2013 at 11:56 am by SH (Editor)

Merlin Housing Society.

Social housing providers in South Gloucestershire have partnered up for a series of ‘speed-dating for houses’ events, to help their tenants move.

Merlin Housing Society, Knightstone Housing Association, Sovereign Housing Association and Solon South West Housing, are holding the events to help people affected by Welfare Reform. The three events will bring people who want or need to move home together to see if they can swap homes.

Merlin’s Head of Neighbourhood Services, Barbara Reid said:

“Welfare Reform is bringing huge changes for social housing tenants. More than 1,000 people living in South Gloucestershire areas have been affected by the introduction of the bedroom tax.”

“It’s not just demand for smaller properties though, we have families in need of bigger homes because they’ve outgrown their current one, and older people who are struggling to manage larger properties.”

“For some the only option is to move, but up until now that hasn’t been easy. The speed-dating concept has developed as a result of one we held earlier this year, which really bought home the demand for house swaps.”

Solon’s Head of Housing, Darryl Harkin said:

“Solon is happy to be involved in this initiative with Merlin, having attended the first event in February which was a great success.”

“We are hopeful that a number of our residents can secure a move as a result of the events so that the worry of finding the extra money to meet Housing costs is removed.”

More: Events scheduled for Filton, Chipping Sodbury and Staple Hill »

Source: Merlin Housing Society


Merlin’s £20m PRC homes refurbishment project gets underway

Posted on Tuesday 30th April 2013 at 1:17 pm by SH (Editor)

Improvements to non-traditional housing stock.

Work has begun on a £20m project to improve 1,000 homes in South Gloucestershire.

Merlin Housing Society is carrying out external improvements to most of its non-traditional housing stock to make them warmer and cheaper to heat. The first phase of work involves 48 properties in Cadbury Heath.

Project manager Richard Hopkins said:

“It’s great to get underway with this work as residents have been waiting a long time for this. Their homes suffer from problems with cold and damp, but these improvements will make them warmer, cheaper to heat and more weather-proof and should make a big difference to everyone who lives in them.”

The first phase of work is due to be completed in September; Merlin will then roll out the rest of the programme, which includes properties in Filton, Kingswood, Patchway, Thornbury, Yate, and Chipping Sodbury.

The £20m project will see improvements made to around 1,000 non-traditional homes (also known as precast reinforced concrete (PRC) homes). The homes were built in the 1940s and 1950s as a quick build solution to the housing shortage after the Second World War, but their condition has now started to deteriorate.

As well as the 1,000 properties being refurbished Merlin is considering redeveloping a further 410 properties.


House completions show positive construction picture for South Glos

Posted on Wednesday 19th September 2012 at 9:15 am by SH (Editor)

Bovis Homes development at Callicroft Place, Charlton Hayes, Patchway, Bristol.

South Gloucestershire’s housing construction sector is performing well despite challenging economic conditions, new figures reveal.

Data published in South Gloucestershire Council’s annual Residential Land Survey show that between April 2011 and March 2012, 957 new homes were completed in the district, an increase of 195 (20 per cent) on the previous year.

Of these, 863 were new build dwellings with the remainder made up conversions of other buildings and temporary or mobile homes.

The majority of completions were on 18 large sites of ten or more homes, including Charlton Hayes and Wallscourt Farm in the north fringe of the district, Elswick Park in Yate and The Meads in Frampton Cotterell. Together, these sites saw almost 300 completions during the year.

South Gloucestershire Council’s planning team has introduced a number of initiatives to promote housing growth in the district in recent months, recognising the important role that housing construction has to play in boosting the local economy. Measures have included a wide-ranging review of unimplemented planning permissions which has helped ‘unlock’ stalled development sites such as Charlton Hayes and Hanham Hall.

Chair of the council’s Planning, Transport and Strategic Environment Committee Brian Allinson said:

“The council takes a positive approach to planning and development in South Gloucestershire and is committed to working with developers to promote growth, while also supporting the development of sustainable communities.”

“These figures show that this approach is generating positive result, with a 20 per cent increase in completions last year despite very challenging economic conditions.”

“The ongoing progress with the Core Strategy and facilitating planning applications through the council’s Major Sites and Development Management Team is very much at the heart of our approach, helping to support a balanced and successful housing market and construction sector in South Gloucestershire.”

More: Total of 269 affordable homes completed during 2012 »

Source: South Gloucestershire Council


Housing society adds more properties to portfolio

Posted on Monday 6th August 2012 at 4:12 pm by SH (Editor)

Merlin Housing Society.

Merlin Housing Society has completed a £7.6m deal to buy 121 properties from Home Group.

It’s the second multi-million pound acquisition in just over two months for Merlin following the purchase of 33 properties from Magna Housing Association at the end of May.

As well as adding to the 8,000 properties the association owns in South Gloucestershire, these acquisitions see it working for the first time in neighbouring Bristol and Bath.

Merlin Chief Executive Ian Matthews said:

“Acquiring these properties is the first step in our ambitious growth plans. Over the next three years we aim to build or buy 300 new homes.”

“This is on top of the regeneration of our non-traditional home stock and supported housing schemes, which will see us redevelop up to 450 new homes.”

“Completing two acquisitions in such a short space of time is no mean feat but our dedicated project team worked hard to make the deals happen while keeping prospective new residents informed of what was going on and to prepare them for the transfer to a new landlord.”

The organisation, which celebrated its fifth birthday in February this year, is now focussing on its future after delivering the promises made when it took the transfer of South Gloucestershire Council housing stock in 2007.

Mr Matthews added:

“These acquisitions and our planned regeneration schemes are all part of our new business plan for 2012 – 17 that we’ve developed with our customers.”

“It sets out or focus on providing quality homes, delivering excellent services, investing in our communities and growing our business, with customers at the heart of everything we do.”

Source: Merlin Housing Society