Earlier this year, JV North opened its £180m homebuilding framework to SMEs for schemes valued at under £1m.
The move – the first time in the consortium’s ten-year history – is aimed at encouraging more local companies to bid for works and comes on the back of JV North members wanting to further invest in their local communities.
Taylor Fay Homes was among the first of over 25 companies appointed to the SME lot (a separate framework was created for works over £1 million) and explains here how it looks to build community spirit as well as affordable homes during its projects.
Row after row of terraced homes, each displaying historical architectural character with intricate, detailed features above arched doorways and framing window.
The area is Windsor Road, Harpurhey in Manchester deemed one of the most disadvantaged in the UK.
It is now popular with private landlords but little investment has been made in the homes or community for many years.
But there are some notable exceptions.
Twelve of the properties have been given full makeovers and transformed into stylish modern homes by Taylor Fay Homes – a small company that has been added to JV North’s framework for schemes valued under £1 million.
The fixtures and fittings are of high quality marrying traditional exteriors with modern interior décor yet the homes have been sold at affordable prices to make them available to local first time buyers.
During the works, Taylor Fay Homes’ directors, Sally Lister and Tors Sinclair, spent a lot of time in the immediate community, talking to residents to get their views and involve them in the process.
This included holding events to bring the community together such as a ‘Maker Day’ where residents were invited into one of the homes being developed so they could engage with other people on their street.
Local designers helped them make cups and bowls on a potter’s wheel and used silversmith techniques to create personalised sliver-plated spoons.
Taylor Fay Homes gave residents the chance to discuss what they liked and disliked about housing and their community, and local businesses were invited too with the Pasta Project providing food for the event.
Other neighbourhood days saw community clean-ups held and an old allotment plot brought back to life with vegetables grown and harvested.
It resulted in overwhelmingly positive feedback from residents and some who rented properties nearby being so impressed that they bought the homes.
Director of Taylor Fay Homes, Sally Lister, said: “Many young people are paying so much money in rent to private landlords that they can’t save to buy.
“We are developing fully refurbished homes with new, contemporary kitchens and bathrooms, re-wired with new windows installed.
“From the outset we made them available to local first time buyers at affordable prices.
“It is very important to us that we are also helping play a part regenerating local communities beyond just the bricks and mortar of the homes.
“Central to our ethos is rebuilding communities.
“We aren’t a developer that will come into local neighbourhoods, not speak to anyone and then disappear once we’ve made money.
“We fully integrate ourselves into the fabric of the community to get people talking to each other again and make them feel proud about their homes and where they live.
“Being appointed to the JV North framework is fantastic news for us because we share its vision of investing in local communities and believe we can make a big difference.”
With JV North members building over 3,000 homes by 2021 under the HCA’s Shared Ownership Affordable Homes Programme, it wants contractors to think more locally by investing in the communities they work.
Sean Stafford, Director at Saffer Cooper which manages JV North’s development programme, said: “Taylor Fay Homes’ approach to investing in the immediate community as well as the homes themselves is crucially important to JV North and its members.
“One of the main reasons we opened the framework to SMEs was so more investment could be made in local communities, economies and people.
“This means local businesses are given the chance to win work, buy local materials, provide jobs for local people and offer local youngsters apprenticeships.
“Taylor Fay Homes has demonstrated this really well especially in Harpurhey and it’s this kind of approach we are looking to use to meet housing demand.”
PHOTOGRAPH: Tors Sinclair (left) and Sally Lister outside properties in Harpurhey.