Arawak Walton Housing Association unveiled its newly acquired and refurbished one bed flats in Whalley Range on Wednesday, to address the desperate need for inner city regeneration of one bedroom properties in Manchester, to be let at social housing rent.
We purchased the scheme from a mainstream housing association in June, proving that large and small housing providers can work together through disposals and acquisitions to bring homes back into social rented use, as well as addressing the ‘Housing First’ homelessness agenda, promoted by The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham MP.
The ‘Housing First’ scheme is a housing and support approach which gives people who have experienced homelessness and chronic health and social care needs a stable home from which to rebuild their lives. It provides intensive, person-centred, holistic support that is open-ended. In addition to renovating the building, one property has been provided to the ‘Housing First’ scheme. This flat has been fully furnished and designed with attention to every detail. Jo Moon, customer service manager, project managed the refurb and design. She said: “We are thrilled with end product and it has been a delight to show the tenants their new homes. We decided to go with a ‘Manchester’ theme for our communal areas and we hope we have given the building a real contemporary feel”.
A launch event was held on Wednesday 16th October attended by partners within the community and from neighbouring housing associations and the City Council. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Abid Latif Chohan, opened the event and was supported by Councillor Suzanne Richards who has been an advocate for the work of Arawak Walton for many years and is instrumental in addressing the housing crisis in Manchester. Councillors for Whalley Range, Mary Watson and Angelika Stogia, attended the opening and spoke highly of the level of refurbishment that had been achieved in the property.
The flats have been developed to a very high standard and designed with the customer in mind, for modern living. Design features include the thematic use of the Manchester bee and the Manchester culture and music scene in and throughout the property. The basement to the property has been renovated to include modern storage facilities for each flat. They are filled with practical features to create an impressive standard of living throughout the development.
David Brown, deputy chair of the board at Arawak Walton explained: “Part of Arawak Walton’s mission is to support and sustain the communities we serve in and around Manchester. We have been waiting for an opportunity to arise to introduce some desperately needed one bed homes into our community. When our partner associations heard our plans, they stepped in to help us acquire the perfect site. We are now proud to unveil our 5 new homes for single people and couples. One of the flats will come fully furnished and will be offered to a ‘Housing First’ client as part of Arawak Walton’s commitment to the programme.”
Cym D’Souza, chief executive at Arawak Walton, added: ‘We may be relatively small in size but we continue to be place makers and lead the way in showing how community cohesion really works to make areas attractive, vibrant and sustainable’.
We currently own and manage around 1,100 homes in and around Manchester, Stockport and Trafford and specialise in meeting the needs of Black and Minority Ethnic communities. Our head office is based in Ardwick.
We would like to thank everybody who has helped to make the scheme such a success and who has supported the association in our mission to address housing the needs of people living in inner city areas. In particular, we offer thanks to our partner associations, Delph Developments Whitely Eaves Architects, EP&S Builders, Carl Mein from Environmental Services in delivering the project. Special thanks is extended to the guests on the day and in particular to the Lord Mayor Abid Latif Chohan, Councillor Suzanne Richards, Councillor Mary Watson, Councillor Angelika Stogia and to the Arawak Walton staff team.