Bristol’s Lord Mayor visits our self-build scheme of 10 new homes for former homeless ex-service personnel

23 December 2015

The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Clare Campion-Smith, has visited our new development of 10 homes for ex-service personnel, who were previously living on the streets.

The team of former army officers have spent the last 18 months building their own homes in Bedminster, Bristol, with support from us, in partnership with the Community Self Build Agency and United Living. The team moved into their new homes last week.

The project has given each of the self-builders the chance to learn new skills in the construction trade, which will benefit them as they seek future opportunities. Six of the team have already gained full-time employment. 

The development meets key objectives of Bristol City Council’s Core Strategy for the city. This includes establishing a sustainable community, with easy access to local services, shops, employment opportunities and facilities, creating homes where people want to stay and live.

The project is the second to take place in Bristol. We also completed 10 homes for ex-service personnel with the Community Self Build Agency on West Street, Bristol in 2012; the first “train and build” project of its kind nationally.  

The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Clare Campion-Smith said, “It was a real privilege to meet the residents of New Hope Crescent, and to hear more about this project which has provided not only homes for these 10 ex-service personnel, but skills and training to prepare them for work and for their futures. It’s a true asset to our city.” 

Caroline Hughes, our Head of Development, said, “We’re really pleased to be able to welcome our 10 new residents into their new homes in time for Christmas. This development not only helps to address Bristol’s requirement for affordable homes to meet local needs, it also tackles national concerns about the specific housing needs and requirements of ex-service personnel.

We’re proud to have been a part of both projects in Bristol and we look forward to continuing our work with the Community Self-Build Agency on the next ex-services self-build project in Weston-super-Mare.”

Mark Perry, Area Manager for United Living, said, “Doing our bit to help improve people’s lives and build communities is an important part of our work at United Living and this project encapsulates the very essence of this. To think that our ten candidates were homeless just over a year ago is really moving and inspiring. 

Everybody we’ve trained has been first class and I couldn’t be more pleased with how they’ve got stuck in, learnt a multitude of new skills, and kept a great sense of morale through to the very end.” 

Ken Hames, Former SAS Major and supporter of the Community Self-Build Agency, said “York Road represents a fantastic team effort for Bristol, with various organisations working together to bring another 10 homes for homeless ex-service personnel to fruition. All the self-builders can also move forward with their lives, with good prospects for employment, thanks to the training we’ve been able to provide as part of this project.”

The official opening of the homes is due to take place in January next year. 

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