Manchester City Council

Manchester up for national award for Veterans’ Village

Manchester City Council has been shortlisted for the UK Housing Awards 2016 in the Outstanding Local Authority of the Year category.

The shortlist placement was awarded for the council’s project management of the partnership to establish a veterans’ village, working with the BBC’s DIY SOS programme, charities Walking With The Wounded and Haig Housing and key construction partners.

The aim of the project was to create a veterans’ housing community within the existing community on two streets in east Manchester, where empty homes were blighting the area.

Completed as part of the BBC programme, the first phase of the project saw eight of the street’s empty homes refurbished to create three larger adapted residential homes for veterans and their families, one standard-size property.

A north west base for Walking With the Wounded was also established, from which they provide a range of advice and support services for veterans.

The entire street also benefitted from street scene improvements with disabled access, a planting scheme, and each of the 62 properties on the street received new doors and windows, and rendering to the front of the properties.

Manchester City Council is involved in the second phase, now underway to bring further empty homes on the street back in to use as homes for veterans.

Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This project captured a huge outpouring of community spirit. Hundreds of trades and local people gave their time to achieve a collective goal: to support veterans and their families to lead a better quality of life.

“This project – that was project managed by the city council – was a remarkable partnership that deserves recognition, and it is with great pleasure that our contribution towards this project has been shortlisted in these awards.”

The awards, which recognise outstanding work by housing organisations to improve the lives of people in their communities, are organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and Inside Housing magazine.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this year’s awards attracted more than 250 entries from all over the UK.

Manchester City Council is one of six organisations left in the running for the outstanding local authority of the year.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on Tuesday, 26 April 2016.

CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat said: “The UK Housing Awards recognise the great work being done by housing professionals and organisations across the industry, but they also push us all to do better as a sector.  We hope the achievements of our finalists will inspire others as they aim to provide the best possible services for residents and communities.

“Congratulations to all of the organisations that have been shortlisted, and best of luck for the 20th anniversary ceremony – win or lose your work will help inspire us all to improve.”

Emma Maier, editor of Inside Housing, said: “The quality of the entries rose again this year so even to get this far is an amazing achievement. In the face of some really stiff competition, Manchester City Council has shown it is performing at the highest level - well done!  Being our 20th anniversary means the evening will be even more memorable and we have some great celebrations planned.”

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