Specialist community housing provider grows ethical portfolio with help of Triodos Bank
This month Redditch Friends Housing Association (RFHA) took possession of their 50th property, further expanding their role in providing affordable housing to families and young people in need throughout Redditch. This milestone property, financed by a loan from Triodos Bank, will bring their property portfolio to 17 houses and 33 flats in the Redditch area, housing 112 individuals.
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.
For further information please contact:
PR and Comms Manager, Triodos Bank
T: 0117 311 0229
M: 07817 413 792
RFHA resident case study
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.
Barry Winfield says: "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."
West Midlands homelessness facts and figures
- 11,901 households were found to be homeless in the West Midlands (2013/14). Source: DCLG Homelessness Statistics, table 770, via Shelter Databank
- The West Midlands has the second highest number of homeless households in England, behind London. Source: DCLG Homelessness Statistics, table 770, via Shelter Databank
- In 2013/14, 8016 households were accepted as homeless and in priority need, of which 5851 (73%) had dependent children. Source: DCLG Homelessness Statistics, table 770, via Shelter Databank
- Number of homelessness acceptances per 100,000 residents: Source: Department for Communities and Local Government
o Bromsgrove: 23
o Malvern Hills: 27
o Redditch: 76
o Worcester: 94
o Wychovyn: 64
o Wyre Forest: 80
o Birmingham: 201
About Redditch Friends Housing Association
Established in 1973, Redditch Friends Housing Association is a small, family friendly community based charity. Originally mandated to provide affordable housing for single parent families and homeless people, RFHA has since widened its remit to include provision for families and couples. It aims to encourage residents to find employment and escape from a culture of dependency on state benefits. Rents are therefore sometimes set at levels below the local maximum housing benefit available for similar accommodation. They currently have 50 properties in total, 17 houses and 33 flats, ranging from bedsit/studio apartments to 3 bedroom properties.
About Triodos Bank
Triodos Bank is a global pioneer in sustainable banking, using the power of finance to invest in projects that are good for people and the planet. Triodos uses its €13.5 billion (2016) in assets to create social, environmental and cultural value in a transparent and sustainable way.
With UK operations based in Bristol, Triodos Bank has branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany and an agency in France. Globally, Triodos Bank has microfinance projects in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a worldwide network of 36 banks seeking to transform finance into a vehicle of positive influence.