West Norfolk’s main social housing provider, Freebridge Community Housing celebrated its tenth birthday on Thursday of last week.
April 4 marked a decade since 6,700 homes transferred to Freebridge from West Norfolk Council after 77 per cent of voting tenants elected for the move, and a great deal has happened since.
Tony Hall, chief executive of Freebridge said: “The transfer of homes to Freebridge in April 2006 was a enormously significant event for tenants.
“At that time fewer than 30 per cent of tenants’ homes met the Government’s Decent Homes standard.
“Now almost 100 per cent have been improved above this level, with just a few remaining to be completed within our bigger regeneration projects.
“Through working with our tenants, our employees and our partners, we have improved the quality of homes that our tenants live in and supported the communities where our tenants live.
“Reaching this 10-year point gives us the chance to look back at what we have achieve, whilst continuing to plan for the future.
“The world we find ourselves in is very different to the world that existed when Freebridge first started out, whichmeans that we will need to be increasingly prudent with any plans we have to make sure that we continue to be a responsible landlord that develops homes and creates opportunities for people in the area.
“I would like to thank our tenants for their involvement and interest over the last 10 years, our employees for all of their hard work, and our partners who have worked closely with us in supporting a better West Norfolk.”
In the 10 years, Freebridge has started more than 7,000 new tenancies and developed or acquired more than 150 new homes, spent more than £45 million in the area up to five miles from its Juniper House headquarters in Austin Street, Lynn, where it employs 400 members of staff.
As well as celebrating their 10th birthday, the date also saw the launch of the next round of the Freebridge Community Fund, where local organisations supporting community and voluntary activity addressing the needs of communities within West Norfolk can claim grants of up to £1000.
Any community or voluntary group wishing to find out more about the Freebridge Community Fund can visit www.norfolkfoundation.com/Freebridge-Community- Housing-Fund.htm.