Shropshire Council wins national award for innovative housing scheme
Shropshire Council’s housing team picked up a prestigious award at a national event on Wednesday 27 June 2018.
The MJ (Municipal Journal) Achievement Awards 2018, organised by the national MJ magazine about management issues affecting local government, is one of the major events in the public sector calendar.
The competition was open to all 418 councils in UK and encouraged councils to submit applications for up to 16 categories. Each category is judged by influential commentators from the private and public sectors, giving organisations the chance to illustrate its ability, ingenuity and performance.
Shropshire Council’s housing team beat 4 other councils to win their category for Innovation in Finance for their Buy2Live scheme. The project was also highly commended for the Best Social Housing Initiative category. The Innovation in Finance category recognises innovation in securing finance for major projects that deliver good outcomes on value-for-money terms with sound risk management.
Shropshire’s Buy2Live scheme enables people who would otherwise be in residential care to buy their own homes. The project had previously received £2.4 million in grant funding, and will improve lives by enabling vulnerable people to live independently.
The scheme helps individuals with disablilities to own their own home, and supports people to get a mortgage who previously have been unable to. It also involves using assistive technology and structural adaptations to enable people to live independently for as long as they want, in a home that they own.
Judges said of the Buy2Live project that they regarded it as “an incredibly innovative shared ownership scheme, linked to adaptations and assistive technology” and “liked the initiative and the impact it is having”.
Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult services, health and social housing, said:
“I am absolutely thrilled that we’ve won the award for Innovation in Finance. We know how hard it can be nowadays to get onto the property ladder, and for those with disabilities, the challenge is even greater. Buy2Live is about giving everybody the choice, control and opportunity over where and how they live. The success of this scheme to date has exceeded our expectations and has changed so many lives for the better.”
Clive Wright, Shropshire Council’s chief executive, added:-
“This is brilliant news and a fantastic way of drawing attention to the excellent work going on in the council. Winning this prestigious award not allows us to be recognised for the work we have achieved over the past 12 months, but allows us to share our expertise with our peers. I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in the project and in putting together the successful entry.”
Andy Begley, director of adult services and housing, added:
“We are truly grateful to MJ Achievement Awards to have received this accolade. This wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment and dedication of our staff and our partners who have played an instrumental part in the success of our Buy2Live scheme. Together we’ve made it possible for people to buy their own home which has led to far better outcomes, especially when the alternative is a lifetime in a care home. It has made it easier than ever before for people to get a home that supports their independence.”
David Hall, Head of Property, at The Wrekin Housing Trust, said:
“This award is a wonderful recognition for a truly innovative scheme, which helps people with long term disabilities purchase their own home and live more independently. The success of this scheme to date has led to the Trust purchasing further properties, which will be adapted to allow even more people with disabilities to buy a home and have the independence they crave.”
To view Shropshire Council’s winning category, Buy2Live, visit https://awards.themj.co.uk/library/media/pdfs/Buy2LiveMJSubmission.pdf
A list of the events winners is here – https://awards.themj.co.uk/winners
Ready about Emma’s story who was the first person to enter the Buy2Live Scheme, in Shropshire Council’s Local Account – “Making it Real – our story continues”:-https://shropshire.gov.uk/media/9941/local_account_jun18_tag_final.pdf
The MJ believes that the best local government services and personnel should be recognised and so launched The MJ Local Government Achievement Awards as a result. The Awards have been held every year since 2004 with great success, rewarding many officers, managers’ teams and councils. The MJ Awards ceremony is one of the major events within the public sector calendar.
Every year without fail the judges are impressed by the level of dedication and the practical, tangible outcomes they see in the submissions. Winning an MJ Award not only promotes a local authority’s achievements, but it also provides staff the recognition they deserve.
The awards gala in London saw winners announced in 16 different categories across a wide range of council services. They included teams providing innovative integrated health and care, cultural services, housing, poverty-reduction, digital transformation, highways management, children’s services, communications, homecare, revenue-generation and public health. Top teams and the workforce were also celebrated.