What a difference two years makes
Published by Riverside for Riverside in Housing and also in Communities
A typical street scene in North Bransholme
North Bransholme residents took a leap of faith when they voted for social landlord Riverside to take ownership of their homes but it has proved to be a gamble that has paid off.
Over the last two years, the estate that was once blighted by boarded-up properties and anti-social behaviour, has been revitalised and the lives of the residents have been transformed.
When it took over the management of the estate in November 2010, Riverside set out a five year refurbishment plan and so far they have exceeded their promises to residents within budget and ahead of schedule.
Riverside’s Operations Manager Carl Mitchell said: “Since we’ve been on North Bransholme, we’ve already invested over £14.5 million renovating the current homes, including installing gas central heating for the first time. We’ve started work on the first new builds in the area for 40 years and we’ve just agreed the first sale on a scheme called Own Place, which brings back empty properties into use to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder.
“But it’s not all bricks and mortar. We’ve invested over £5000 in community projects from school social clubs to the annual beach party. We’ve also appointed an Employment and Training Officer, Energy Advisor and Money Advisor to tackle unemployment, fuel poverty and financial exclusion.
“Our work was recognised by industry professionals when we were shortlisted for a Regeneration and Renewal Award in the Best Use of Housing in Regeneration category but the most important thing is that our residents are pleased with the progress. A survey revealed that tenants in Hull are the most satisfied tenants from across Riverside with 87% saying they are satisfied with the services they receive.”
Carl added: “Looking forward, we will invest a further £4 million in current properties - including fitting more new kitchens and bathrooms and converting some bedsits. The first residents will also move into their new build homes in spring.
“In the New year we are also launching an improved environmental service and community engagement activities. The service – called Your Place - will tackle graffiti, fly-tipping and dog fouling as well as providing landscaping.”