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New housing provider for Staffordshire and Shropshire

A new housing provider pledging to build new homes for communities in Staffordshire and Shropshire officially launched on 1 October 2016.

Housing Plus Group, formed by a merger between Severnside Housing in Shropshire and South Staffordshire-based Housing Plus, will employ around 600 people locally and have a turnover of more than £60m.

The group — which also includes Care Plus, Severn Homes, AWE and Property Plus — has 25,000 customers and owns 12,000 properties. Its strength as a larger provider will support a target to build more houses locally, helping to meet a soaring demand for homes to rent or buy.

Sarah Boden is chief executive of the Housing Plus Group. Having begun her career working with homeless people, she said: “The need for housing has never been greater. Our challenge is to provide the homes our communities need, including disadvantaged or vulnerable people whose needs are not met by the open market.

“There is a huge responsibility to support thriving towns and villages. As a larger group we now have a tremendous opportunity to build more homes in the local area and offer greater choice and excellent services for customers.”

The Group will continue to deliver landlord services and property repairs locally, from their operational centres in South Staffordshire and Shropshire.

“Some things won’t change for our customers,” assured Sarah Boden. “Their home, rights and any charges they pay won’t be affected by this very positive move. Customers can still expect a fantastic service from people who know the area and are part of the community.”

Rolf Levesley, chair of the Housing Plus Group board, said: “This is a new, stronger group which will deliver meaningful benefits for our customers, communities, employees and partners. I’m proud that we can make a real difference to people in Shropshire and Staffordshire as we strive to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to live somewhere they can call home.”

Photo: Rolf Levesley and Sarah Boden