Work has commenced on an innovative new scheme to turn unused space in existing buildings into 36 new social rent homes across Coventry, Birmingham and Worcester.
The £2.1m project is a first for one of the UK’s most trusted social housing providers, Citizen, which owns and manages more than 30,000 homes for diverse communities across the West Midlands.
Seddon is delivering the project, which will see the design and build of 36 new rental homes created out of existing space in buildings owned by Citizen, including residential tower blocks, assisted living schemes and offices.
A variety of work is being undertaken, including major structural changes and internal alterations to produce high quality homes, with new kitchens, bathrooms, windows and doors.
In Coventry a total of 16 homes are being created. The ground-floor commercial space at Paul Stacey House on Bath Street will be reconfigured to produce four apartments, while works at Honiley House in Henley Green will create three new homes.
A total of 20 new homes are being created in Birmingham, including eight in The Sentinels – Clydesdale Tower and Cleveland Tower, which together are the two tallest residential social rent blocks in the city.
Furthermore, nine apartments will be created in unused access and communal spaces at five tower blocks operated by Citizen on the Benmore Estate.
A further unit is being delivered at Dickinson Court on Wordsworth Avenue in Worcester.
Seddon’s housing partnerships team has started work on the first raft of homes, with the entire project estimated to be completed in Spring 2020.
Citizen’s director of development, Richard Whittaker, said: “Here at Citizen we are committed to building new homes in communities across the West Midlands so that we can give more people a foundation for life.
“It’s great news our latest development with Seddon has started across Coventry, Birmingham and Worcester. Creating new social housing out of unused spaces in our existing buildings shows our commitment to making our properties work the hardest they possibly can to fulfil the needs for social housing across the West Midlands.
“This innovative approach also enables us to bring these vital homes to market much quicker and more cost-effectively than building from the ground up. I look forward to seeing the completed properties in spring next year.”
Working closely with its council and developer partners, Citizen builds 650 new homes a year.
Rob Moore, business unit director at Seddon, said: “It’s no secret that social housing numbers are dwindling, with very few of these types of homes being built in the West Midlands and across the UK. The innovative approach to creating new social housing out of unused spaces in existing buildings demonstrates Citizen’s forward-thinking attitude to addressing this issue head-on while accelerating the new home agenda.
“We’re able to bring these vital homes to market much quicker and more cost-effectively than building from the ground up. This project will ensure people in Coventry and Birmingham who need an affordable, high-quality place to live can have better access to social housing in their local area.”