Haig Housing has drafted the former service veterans to the charity’s biggest new build development in the UK since the 1950s. The 68-home development, located in Morden, aims to help with the issue of the affordable housing shortage faced by the nation’s ex-service men and women.
“This is the first brick in our largest single building programme since the fifties. It marks a significant point in a concerted period of construction that will add 68 new homes to our Morden estate,” said James Richardson, chief executive of Haig Housing.
Contractor United Living pledged to employ local veterans during the construction and residents Pauline Burroughs and Charles Glover joined them at an official ceremony to mark the start of the construction work. Mrs Burroughs has lived as a Haig resident in Morden for 46 years while Mr Glover’s son has just recently passed out of AFC Harrogate and is following his father’s footsteps into the army. To mark this occasion, the contractor brought a commemorative trowel, which will go on display throughout the development.
“Rhodes Moorhouse Court is a prestigious development and we’re extremely proud to be constructing these new homes in partnership with Haig Housing. United Living brings plenty of expertise in delivering projects like this, having previously delivered construction training for ex-military personnel on projects and building sites across the country. We see this as another very worthy cause and we’re now in the process of accelerating efforts to recruit more ex-service personnel to help deliver this project,” said Stuart Laird, chief operating officer at United Living.
Each property on the new build will be made available for rent for former service personnel. Haig Housing receives around 1,000 applications for housing each year, of which it can help one in seven applicants. As the waiting lists keep growing, securing affordable accommodation for veterans and their families becomes extremely difficult.
Starting with June 2019, the mix of properties, from one bedroom apartments to four bedroom houses, will be available for social rent. The scheme is part funded by the Veterans’ Accommodation Fund, which also provided funding for Haig Housing to expand into Colchester, Aldershot and Scotland.