In an increasingly difficult housing market, RFHA is able to serve the local community through the right balance of size, individual care and networked capacity. By managing a small-sized portfolio, RFHA is able to maintain a level of personal service that ensures the right people occupy the right home. RFHA is also a key member of the West Midlands Group of Smaller Housing Associations, a group of specialist community housing providers committed to this common goal.
A Triodos loan enabled RFHA to purchase the 50th property, the 12th property that has been acquired with backing from the sustainable bank, who have also provided finance for refurbishment costs. The Board of Management have always been supported in their development programme by Triodos and hope to continue to expand the stock base and help even more families.
Jill Davies, Managing Director at Redditch Friends Housing Association, said: “Small-sized providers like RFHA work hard to fill the gap in housing, servicing those who are in dire need but may have an atypical profile. Triodos Bank understands this vision as well as our unique requirements, and continues to be a core partner, as we expand our housing stock in these difficult times.”
Kate Donovan, Relationship Manager at Triodos Bank, said: “In an increasingly difficult housing market, it’s important that a diversity of housing options and providers flourish to meet the complex need in the West Midlands. Redditch Friends Housing Association has a wonderful mix of size and flexibility to expertly match people with affordable homes. We’re excited to celebrate this milestone with them.”
The Association holds its own waiting list and works alongside the Borough Council and other organisations, offering accommodation to people who find it increasingly difficult to afford private rent levels or buy their own home. They have recently formed a new Community Interest Company (CIC) called Redditch Reach to operate alongside the original social housing organisation. The CIC offers property management for private landlords who wish to rent out their own properties along more ethical lines. Redditch Reach charges a small 5% management fee, transferring all profits back to the original Association, to help support tenants experiencing hardship.
The impact: meet new RFHA tenant, Barry Winfield
Barry Winfield is a single dad who approached RFHA in June 2016, when he found himself homeless after a relationship breakdown. His situation meant that he was unable to have his two young sons stay with him on a regular basis. Barry applied to RFHA directly for accommodation and was initially allocated a small one-bedroom flat. Recognising his unique need and his desire to have his sons stay with him, RFHA was able to move him into a larger flat and now into the Association’s recently purchased two-bedroom house-their 50th property. Barry is very excited that the boys will have a bedroom of their own and a garden to play in.
“Redditch Friends Housing Association have been nothing short of amazing. With their support, our lives have been transformed with high-quality housing, giving us the stability and space that we need to make it a home. Jill and her team will always have our sincere gratitude.
Find out more about other social housing projects that Triodos Bank lends to.