Armed forces veterans in groundbreaking self-build housing scheme

A group of armed forces veterans have begun working on a groundbreaking housing scheme that will see them help to build their own homes.

Representatives from Stonewater, Hereforshire Council, Alabaré, the RBL and Harper Group Construction Ltd at the site.
Representatives from Stonewater, Hereforshire Council, Alabaré, the RBL and Harper Group Construction Ltd at the site.

Housing association Stonewater is working with Community Self Build Agency – now part of Alabaré, a leading UK provider of supported housing – and The Royal British Legion on the scheme at Waterworks Lane in Leominster.

Once completed, the development will include a mix of 19 houses and flats, all available for affordable rent with a proportion of the properties allocated for ex-service personnel.

Stonewater's Matthew Crucefix, assistant director of development (West), said: “At Stonewater our commitment to providing everyone with a place they can call home is at the core of everything we do.

"In Herefordshire, there is a large armed forces presence and so there is a constant need for veteran accommodation.

"We hope to inspire others to take on similar projects in other areas of the country with similar challenges.”

The scheme aims to help participants gain construction skills and experience, as well as a place to live.

It will see up to nine veterans, who will all receive training and support, working alongside Stonewater’s local contractor, Harper Group Construction Ltd, at the development before having the chance to rent one of the completed homes.

Herefordshire Councillor Barry Durkin said: “We are committed to supporting local veterans across Herefordshire and this new self-build partnership with Stonewater and Alabaré is a great opportunity to provide more affordable housing for veterans.

"This scheme not only provides much needed homes but will also provide the veterans with the training and skills needed to not only help build their own homes and but hopefully also gain future employment.”

Major (Retired) Ken Hames MBE at Alabaré, said: “We’ve worked on similar projects in other parts of the country which, whilst challenging to get off the ground, really make a long-term difference.

"For the veterans fortunate enough to be part of the project they have a unique opportunity to gain the skills that could lead to long term employment, and the support to ultimately be able to live successful, independent lives once more.

"Together they will be creating a community that they can call home.”

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