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Habitat connects diverse agencies for an innovative housing project


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Skilled sub-contractors and young people work at the Miller Road Project.


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Ten one-bedroom maisonettes will rise from this foundation once the project has finished

In Great Britain, a new Habitat project pulls together multiple partners to tackle local housing problems and provide training. Construction of ten new homes at Miller Road in Banbury, which started last November, is expected to be completed by January 2012.

The Miller Road project aims to provide housing and training opportunities for local young people currently not in education, employment or training. It is executed in a partnership with Cherwell District Council, Oxford and Cherwell Valley College, Connexions and Sanctuary Group. The scheme has attracted funding from a variety of sources including a grant from the national affordable housing program.

“This is a project which will not only provide high quality homes for local young people, but also training opportunities in construction skills. We are grateful for the support of Cherwell District Council who has had the vision and the resolve to take this innovative scheme forward. It simply would not have happened without their support in putting together a strong partnership of organizations,” said Susan Simmonds, chief executive of Southwark Habitat for Humanity.

The main task of Southwark Habitat for Humanity is managing the construction site and ensuring that high quality training opportunities are provided within the construction process.

Ten one-bedroom maisonettes are built with a mixture of skilled sub-contractors and young people, who work towards a national level one open college award. They are assisted by a college tutor and a life skills mentor from Connexions. When completed, the new homes will be sold to Sanctuary Group and later let to local young people in housing need.

The first cohort of ten young people has started on the site. They are set to complete their construction and training in June, 2011. Then, the second group starts. Their assignment will take them to January 2012.

What is next?
Habitat wants people not only to read about poverty housing but do something to fight it. You can support Habitat’s work in Great Britain in a number of ways. Here are some examples:

• Visit our donations page to support projects in Great Britain.
• Go to country profile pages to learn about other programs in this country.

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