Cabinet Member Cllr Tahir Ali drops in on co-operative residents
Published by Dawn Prentice for Dawn Prentice Communications in Communities and also in Education, Environment, Health, Housing
Cllr Ali (left), Malik Ullah (right)& Kahar family
Birmingham City Councillor Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development, Jobs and Skills returned to Frederick Road, Aston earlier today to see how Shahjalal residents were settling into their new homes.
Recently completed, the four bedroomed homes have been built for larger families, including extended families, to ensure that residents can care for their elders. These two new homes built adjacent to the Co-operative’s existing homes, will increase Shahjalal’s portfolio to 79 homes.
One of the oldest co-operatives in Birmingham, Shahjalal was created by members of the local community to meet the needs of communities in North West Birmingham. Many of these people were living in private rented accommodation, in a poor state of repair, and they were experiencing severe over-crowding. Women play an active role in Shahjalal making up almost half of the Board of Management.
The ethos of Shahjalal is to help and support each other. This community understands that together they are stronger and by sharing resources they build productive networks that broaden the resources available to them. By working together and with the wider community, Shahjalal has a coordinated approach to the development and management of their homes. There are many benefits of a community working together to build social capital and create safe, friendly, sustainable neighbourhoods that foster community wellbeing.
Since its inception in the mid 1970s, this unique housing organisation was established by the Bangladeshi community and run by the Bangladeshi community, in partnership with a range of organisations including Birmingham City Council, the Trident Social Investment Group, Matrix Housing Partnership, the Accord Group and BCHS.
Abdul Kahar said, 'My family are very happy to be living in our new home, we still can’t believe it. We are very lucky and grateful to Shahjalal and everyone who made this happen.
Nazma Miah said, ‘My husband is a chef, but I do all the cooking at home and I love my new kitchen! The house is beautiful and our four children are no longer sharing a bedroom. We are so happy.’
Malik Ullah, Chair of Shahjalal said, ‘On behalf of Shahjalal, I am proud to welcome Cllr Tahir Ali to meet our residents in their new homes. Everyone wants to provide the best for their family and Shahjalal’s co-operative values encompass sharing resources to meet members’ needs. Our community is strong because we help each other and by working together, we can improve the quality of people’s lives. We hope to provide more homes in the future and help more families to stay together and support each other.'
Cllr Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development, Jobs and Skills said, ‘Addressing our housing shortfall is a challenge that requires innovative measures to meet housing need today and for the foreseeable future. Shahjalal demonstrates that much can be achieved by people working together for the good of the community. I appreciate these families welcoming me into their new homes and the opportunity to see a creative solution that fulfils their needs.’
With total scheme costs of £360,000 Shahjalal has secured £53,000 funding from the Homes and Communities Agency’s Affordable Homes programme, and the remaining funding from their long term supporter and partner, the Trident Social Investment Group. www.shahjalal.org.uk