latest news 

As a community construction charity, PHASES needs to keep abreast of any changes in policy which might impact our affordable housing projects. As a training organisation, we’re conscious that our courses need to reflect industry needs, so that our trainees have reelvant skills. As a social enterprise, we’re busy finding ways to share best practice and to be more effective.  Here’s what we’ve been doing lately to keep up to date in the fast-paced construction sector.

September 2016 – Social Investment Presentation – Camden

Our Chief Executive, Glenn Heaton, appeared alongside Danny Wilson-Dodd, Head of Lending at Big Issue Invest, at this conference examining the growing world of social investment. The event was organised by Homeless Link and showcased ways in which different types of social lending had supported projects relieving homelessness. Glenn and Danny focussed on PHASES’ two major renovation projects in Brockley, where two large properties, both empty for over 20 years, had been renovated and brought back into use. The properties now provide five flats for families who had formerly been in overcrowded and substandard accommodation. These projects had been supported by lending of £210k from the Big Issue Invest and generated a number of interested questions from the audience and afterwards.

June 2016 – Architect’s Plans for New Build in Brockley

With the agreement of the Trustees, PHASES has made a strategic decision to consider a new build project. An opportunity presents itself on a site which is vacant next to the project at 340 Brockley Road which we completed during 2015. We have now obtained architect’s sketches for up to six flats on the site. As the site is next to a railway embankment, we have also opened discussions with Network Rail.

February 2016 – PHASES announces Planned Maintenance Project

With no imminent empty property projects ahead and PHASES’ plans for a first new build project still in the early stages, we have announced a plan to carry out a series of maintenance works at a number of our properties. This will initially take place at six of our properties during the year and will provide trainees with experience in electrical maintenance, carpentry, plastering and painting and decorating.

November 2015 – Trainee Awards

We held an ‘awards’ ceremony in Camberwell for some of the 18 trainees who had passed through our workshop training phase during the year. All of these trainees had successfully completed our multi-skills course at the Rotherhithe workshop. They included ex-services personnel, refugees and trainees who had come through drug and alcohol problems. Seven of these trainees had gained additional on-site work experience on our empty property renovation projects.

August 2015 – Brockley Road Project

Works were completed in early summer on one of our biggest projects under the Empty Homes Community Grants Programme – 340 Brockley Road. This property had been empty for over 20 years and consists of a bedsit, a one-bed flat and a two-bed flat over three floors. Initial work involved removal of asbestos, the taking down of a chimney and soundproofing. Internal walls were then reconfigured and new partitions created. All windows were removed and fitted with new double-glazed units and the property was then fully fitted-out. This project created a wealth of training opportunities in the different construction skills areas and over the 12 month period six different trainees were involved and two paid workers who were former trainees. All three flats are now occupied as affordable rented accommodation.

May 2015 – Second Property Purchased in London

We have completed on the purchase of a second property in London under the Empty Homes Community Grants Fund. This was on another 4 bedroom property in Becton, East London, which had been empty for over a year. Additional finance for this purchase was provided by our bank – Unity Trust. Refurbishment works have also now been completed by our team on this property, ready for letting.

January 2015 – PHASES purchases its first property in London

PHASES has completed the purchase of its first property in London. This is a 4-bed house in Beckton, East London. This was partly financed by grant funding from the Empty Homes Community Grants Programme and partly by borrowing from The Big Issue Invest, a social enterprise lender which is an offshoot of the Big Issue magazine.

September 2014 – PHASES purchases its first properties

PHASES has completed the purchase of four empty properties in the Worthing and Littlehampton areas. The three 3-bed houses and one 1-bed flat were purchased using grant funding under the government’s Empty Homes Community Grants Programme together with borrowing from Unity Trust Bank Plc. The properties will all be renovated for use as social housing by early 2015. These are the first properties ever to be purchased by the charity.

May 2014 – Flat completed in Kennington

A one bedroom flat in Kennington has been completed by PHASES under the Empty Homes Community Grants Programme. The flat had been empty for over 5 years, having been left by the owner when his wife had died. Over the years the owner had found it harder and harder to return until one of our volunteers painstakingly went through all of the belongings he had left behind with him. Renovation work was then able to start and the flat now provides high quality accommodation for social rent.

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