SARH shortlisted for prestigious innovation awards


A Staffordshire-based housing association is in the running for two prestigious industry awards for its commitment to regeneration and the innovative ways it engages with local communities.

Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) has been shortlisted in two high-profile categories at the Housing Innovation Awards, with the transformation of the Penkside area of Stafford firmly in the spotlight.

Known as ‘Total Place‘, the £6.7 million project caught the attention of judges in the Most Innovative Regeneration Scheme category, whilst the housing association’s Community Learning Programme, engagement days and estate ‘walkabouts’ have seen it shortlisted for a Most Innovative Use of Community Engagement Award.

The award winners are set to be announced at a special event in London on Thursday, February 18, and SARH Chief Executive, Karen Armitage, said she was delighted to have reached this stage of the competition.

“These Awards are highly respected by professionals in the housing industry, and we feel justifiably proud to be amongst a wide range of high-profile organisations to reach the shortlist.”

“We’re particularly pleased at this recognition for Total Place, a partnership project that’s done so much to improve an important area in Stafford with the refurbishment of more than 350 homes.

“This has significantly improved the appearance of the area whilst having a hugely positive impact on the lives of our customers and other local residents.”

Work on the properties included new raised roofs, double glazing and cladding alongside the creation of garden areas with privacy walls, picket fencing, gravel and paving.

Meanwhile the housing association’s Community Involvement Team is also looking forward to the awards, organised by Excel Publishing and Housing Magazine.

SARH reached the shortlist in the Community Engagement Award for its efforts to help build stronger communities by helping customers and other local residents to boost their job hunting skills, learn practical skills or even improve their diet.

Alongside a wide range of workshops and events, customer engagement runs through all levels of the organisation. Whilst Customer Inspectors play a vital scrutiny role, and make recommendations when they see room for improvement, the Customer Board focuses on improving landlord services.

Karen added: “Customers are at the heart of everything we do, alongside our efforts to build neighbourhoods that residents feel proud of.

“It’s fitting that the award judges have recognised both a flagship project to improve the built environment and our efforts to build stronger communities.”


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