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Birmingham homes to serve those who served

 
May 11th 2012
 

 

Homelessness is not something that “only happens to somebody else” and should never be so regarded. It is, in reality, a complex problem with many mitigating factors. Someone can unexpectedly find themselves on the street or in temporary accommodation regardless of whether they are struggling with drink and drug abuse; the addictions “normally” associated with homeless people.

But for those unaccustomed to the who, why, what and where of the homeless community, the discovery that ex-military personnel - those who may well have put their life on the line for queen and country - make up a significant portion of the number in this situation is a shocking one.

Although housing accommodation in the West Midlands (and beyond) has always been something of a thorny issue, for the ex-services fraternity at least, help is at hand with 12 new properties being made available in the Northfield area of Birmingham, specifically in response to the need of homeless ex-service personnel.

“The allocation of the homes is the same as if one were applying for a council house, but you have to be able to prove you have served in the armed forces and there is no minimum service time.” Said a spokesperson from the council’s building scheme, the Birmingham Municipal Trust.

“The homes are the property of the Alderson Trust (a charity for ex-military personnel established in 1933, which owns an additional 16 homes in Birmingham) but are managed, allocated and repaired by Birmingham City Council. The Trust’s priority is disabled ex-service personnel.

“Those not allocated one of the new properties but who meet the eligible criteria for housing can bid on our choice-based letting system for general needs housing.”

Three of the new homes, a mixture of houses, bungalows and apartments are now occupied, with Anthony McGowaran, former Second Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers among the successful applicants.

Anthony said: “When I left the army one of my big concerns was being able to get a house for me and my family. When I heard about this scheme I was elated, knowing that ex-armed forces personnel would be treated as a priority is fantastic.

“We are soon to move into our home and have been given a glimpse of what it will look like, and from what I’ve seen it looks fantastic. I’m thankful that Birmingham City Council has taken the initiative on this scheme, having a new house has changed our lives.”

The remainder of the scheduled 12 homes are due to be completed by the end of April and occupied in early May. With more than 50 ex-services people having applied originally, demand is high, but the Council has said that this may well lead to further properties being built in future.

 
 
 

May 2012

 

Contents

Support worker with first-hand experience

Award for Birmingham-based catering company

Birmingham homes to serve those who served

Film club comes to Birmingham

Forgotten Vintage "didn't intend to offend?"

Rough sleeper bids to become Edinburgh councillor

Housing bills rings the changes

Asylum seekers left out in the cold

Homeless drop “not credible”

Homeless footballer transforms lives

Keith Maloney

Olympic 'flood' adds to street population

Man in hole moves for Olympics

A night in the cells

Florida homeless paper's editor dead

Cornish man sparks air sea rescue

Homeless residents sue US city

Croydon wasn't an isolated case

Emmaus man walking to Paris

Homeless soldiers?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ charity criticised for BNP links

Homeless candidate steps down from Orlando election race

US hotspots surveyed

 

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