News

Milestone as 150 North Solihull residents rehoused

(2nd November 2007)

The number of residents successfully rehoused as part of the Regenerating North Solihull project has passed the 150 markThe residents, who are all tenants of Solihull Community Housing, have been moved by agreement in the Craig Croft and Smith's Wood areas of North Solihull, so that their former homes can be demolished to make way for new developments.

Earlier this year, the first demolition of former council housing took place as 25 homes in Chelmsley Wood and Smith's Wood were pulled down after the residents were allocated alternative accommodation, some of which met the government's Decent Homes Standard.  Solihull Community Housing aim to ensure all their housing stock meets the Decent Homes Standard by 2011/12.  The demolished properties were the first of more than 1,000 to be pulled down on a phased basis over the next five years.

The residents are being helped to move by the North Solihull Partnership's Home Maker team who have been working with residents to find an alternative home.  The sites where the tenants are being moved from will not necessarily be redeveloped with new housing, as the whole area is being progressively remodelled to improve the design of North Solihulland make better use of the available space.

Over the next 15 years the Partnership, made up of Solihull Council, Whitefriars Housing Group, Bellway Homes and regeneration specialists Inpartnership, will be overseeing £1.8billion of investment in the area, which will eventually see 8,000 new homes being built as well as 12,500 more significantly improved. This will be complemented by the development of five new village centres, 10 new primary schools and a considerable investment in infrastructure and open space.

Janet Bradbury, chief executive of the Partnership, said ensuring that residents were rehoused in line with their wishes was one of the most important challenges of the whole regeneration project.

She said: "Many regeneration projects take place in areas such as former industrial sites where often the bulldozers can move in and create a blank canvas. But in North Solihull, we are hoping to completely transform the area in terms of housing and amenities, while alongside the 40,000 residents who live in the area."

Janet Bradbury continued: "The long term benefits of the Regenerating North Solihull project will impact on every one of the local residents in terms of better housing and facilities, improved education and employment opportunities. To make this happen, it is necessary for some residents to move home, which can be a very stressful experience. That is why we are taking every care to ensure this process is carried out as smoothly and sensitively as possible.

"The 150th decant is a significant milestone for the project after such a short time, and that fact that each one of these has been done in full agreement with the residents is testament to what an excellent job the Homemaker Teams are doing."

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Press release drafted by Alun Thorne. For more information contact Core Marketing on 0121 643 8151.