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Birmingham's first eco-village wins prestigious housing award

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Birmingham's first eco-village wins prestigious housing award


Published by Anonymous for in Housing

Birmingham's first eco-village wins prestigious housing award Birmingham's first eco-village wins prestigious housing award

The Summerfield Eco Village partnership has won the National Housing Federation West Midlands What We Are Proud of Award 2009.

Family Housing Association (Birmingham) Ltd received the award in recognition of its £2.3m Eco village project in the Summerfield area of the city, achieved by working in partnership with Urban Living, Birmingham City Council, New World Solar and local residents.
The Awards ceremony took place at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham and attracted around 70 guests who listened to presentations from three shortlisted projects before voting for the overall winner.
The What We Are Proud of Awards are unique as winners are chosen by board members and residents, and the three regional finalists were shortlisted by a panel of tenant judges.
Summerfield is a culturally diverse inner-city area of Birmingham located in the heart of Ladywood – one of England’s most deprived neighbourhoods. Family Housing Association (FHA) has over 300 social housing properties in Summerfield.
In 2004, residents formed Summerfield Residents Association (SRA). Their aim is to make Summerfield a thriving community. They were particularly keen to reduce turnover, improve the local environment and tackle ‘eco’ issues in order to encourage a more cohesive and sustainable community.
FHA has worked with local residents, BCC, Be Birmingham and Urban Living (UL) - HMRA Pathfinder to secure funding and deliver programmes of work that address these key issues, including:

  • Boundary wall and ‘green up’ front garden project for all residents
  • 329 low income owner occupied houses had ‘free’ eco installations
  • Trainee work placements for 20 local unemployed residents
  • 6 large Victorian properties de-converted into Eco family homes rented out to social housing tenants
  • Eco Office established at Church Hall
  • Supported innovative work of the Council’s Housing Education Initiative to engage school children from 6 local primary schools in developing an Eco website, Eco radio station and energy advice DVD’s. 
  • Sharing best practice - hosting over 1500 visitors to Summerfield

Summerfield is now recognised as Birmingham’s first ‘Eco Village’.
Family Housing Association will go through to the national finals going against other regional winners. The final result will be announced at the Federation’s annual conference in Birmingham this September.
Tim Sewell, Chief Executive at Family Housing said “We are absolutely delighted that the Eco Village project has won another award. The partnership working has been the key to its success and clearly demonstrates what can be achieved to reduce energy use at a neighbourhood level.

The project has now been expanded to other areas of the city to help more low income households benefit from the eco improvements and cut down on fuel poverty. This all helps Birmingham hit carbon targets, reduce energy costs and develop the skills and jobs of the future.”

Adnan Saif, Chief Executive of Urban Living, said: “This is a flagship scheme which has seen the eco-transformation of the Summerfield area, much to the benefit of local residents. All of this has been made possible through partnership working and the result is something to be truly proud of, so it’s particularly pleasing that the scheme has been recognized through this award.”

Paul Williams, Regional Manager for the National Housing Federation said: "The quality of entrants to this award has been outstanding, and the three runners up all gave powerful presentations making it difficult to choose an overall winner.

"Our warm congratulations go to Family and its partners who thoroughly deserve the place at the finals in September."


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