Ayrshire Housing seeks to make a real impact beyond direct housing provision. We work in partnership with our communities, the voluntary and public sector, 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:
Established in 2004, this initiative has now helped more than 25 individuals to gain employment with linked training in the building industry. An independent evaluation has demonstrated its value both to the individual trainees and to the building contractors themselves. Through the programme, unemployed people are encouraged to seek employment with a contractor as an apprentice, trainee labourer or trainee administrator. It targets individuals who are close to job ready but who would not otherwise consider applying for a construction job with a training commitment. The model has been extended across Ayrshire by a consortium of four housing associations led by Ayrshire Housing.
Established in 2007, this project has 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 has so far improved the quality of life of 70 people. It received the endorsment of Adam Ingram, Minister for Children and Early Years in the Scottish Government when he presented certificates to the project’s first participants.
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.
The above 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. It is also a major provider of Housing Support services to local authorities and housing associations. A Scottish charity in its own right, it is managed by a volunteer Board including representation from Ayrshire Housing.
This project gives 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 is offered. Advice is also offered on access to low cost financial services through a credit union, 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 these projects received support from the Scottish Government’s Wider Role fund. The fund aimed to assist housing associations to extend the impact of their work in their communities. We also support the work of local voluntary and community groups which complement our aims, for example we have a long-standing relationship with the Ayr Housing Aid Centre.