Ayrshire Housing seeks to make a real impact beyond direct housing provision. We work in partnership with our communities, the voluntary and public sectors, and other housing associations to support innovative projects which meet common goals. We seek to add depth to the substantial reputation and core skills of Ayrshire Housing. Current and recent project areas include:
This initiative helped more than 30 individuals to gain employment with linked training in the building industry. Through the programme, unemployed people were encouraged to seek employment with a contractor as an apprentice, trainee labourer or trainee administrator. It targeted individuals who were close to job ready but who would not otherwise consider applying for a construction job with a training commitment. The model was extended across Ayrshire to three other housing associations and South Ayrshire Council. We are pleased that some of our contractors have continued their commitment to opening up training opportunities after the project formally ended.
Established in 2007, this project used home and garden improvement as a way of working with tenants to increase their pride in their home and assist in a transition to independent living, employment and education. Extending across Ayrshire through a network of housing associations led by Ayrshire Housing, it improved the quality of life of 70 people. It received the endorsment of Adam Ingram, the then Minister for Children and Early Years in the Scottish Government when he presented certificates to the project’s first participants. It provided a model for South Ayrshire Council’s First Home project.
We wanted ensure that Ayrshire Housing’s and South Ayrshire Council’s investment in Lochside, Ayr led to sustained benefits to the wider community. An innovative range of projects covering common spaces, the recording of community aspirations and neighbourhood changes through arts projects, and supporting independent community groups got underway at the end of 2006 from a dedicated staffed base – well in advance of the actual physical work. The project ran until April 2011 – 12 months after the houses were occupied – to help ensure a legacy of community participation and public agency engagement.
This project gave independent advice to tenants on how to save money on fuel bills. As well as energy saving tips, advice on low tarriffs and how to switch suppliers was offered. The project has been developed by Ardrossan based Cunninghame Housing Association. Its other partners include the Irvine based housing association ANCHO and North Ayrshire Council.
All the above projects received support from the Scottish Government’s Wider Role fund which ran until March 2012. The fund assisted housing associations to extend the impact of their work in their communities.
North Ayrshire Council and five housing associations including Ayrshire Housing have teamed up with the 1st Alliance Credit Union to help tenants prepare for changes brought in by Welfare Reform and the introduction of Universal Credit.
The project offers assistance to tenants to help set up bank accounts and manage household budgets. The service is open to the partners’ 22,000 tenants and their families.
Thanks to part funding from the Lottery’s Awards for All Scotland, Ayrshire Housing worked with the Lochside Neighbourhood Group to create a play area for young children to play. It includes benches for parents to sit whilst their children enjoy themselves.
The several of these projects have been delivered in partnership with the Aspire2gether. Originally established in 2003 as Ayrshire Initiatives Ltd, the wider action subsidiary of Ayrshire Housing. It has grown to become an independent social enterprise with local authority, voluntary and housing association clients across Ayrshire. We also work with other social enterprises such as Ailsa Horizons and the Energy Agency. We also support the work of local voluntary and community groups which complement our aims, for example we have long-standing relationships with the Ayr Housing Aid Centre and the homelessness initiative Care and Share.