Nehemiah UCHA Launch History Book

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Nehemiah UCHA, has published a book about the organisation’s history to mark its 25th anniversary. The book, called ‘Walls of Courage’ is available to purchase from the Nehemiah UCHA office by telephoning 0121 358 0966 or via email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Walls Of Courage

The book covers the rich history of both Nehemiah and United Churches Housing Associations, which were registered as housing associations in 1989, and which merged in 2007.

Both housing associations that form today’s successful Nehemiah UCHA had faith and community roots in Handsworth. Their foundation stemmed from a combination of the aftermath of the Handsworth riots in 1985, when local civic leaders realised something had to be done to improve the lot of African-Caribbean people, and an ageing BME population that needed desperately sheltered housing close to community links.

Timeline

1950s to 1980s

Migration form the Caribbean to the UK during the 1950s to 1970s

Growing housing needs, urban deprivation and an aging African-Caribbean population pose problems exacerbated by riots in Handsworth in 1981 and 1985.

African-Caribbean community through a variety of churches responds with the creation of the Nehemiah and United Churches housing associations.

Nehemiah takes its name from the biblical rebuilder of Jerusalem.

1990 to 1994

The PATH development programme and the Housing Corporation’s Black Housing Strategy help Nehemiah and UCHA to acquire key skills.

Having been registered with the Housing Corporation in 1989, both housing associations began to plan their futures.

Nehemiah and UCHA begin to develop respectively sheltered schemes for black elders and family housing and accommodation for singles.

Partnerships were developed with a range of local authority, housing association and community projects.

Nehemiah expands into Wolverhampton. UCHA works across Birmingham including Moseley and Kingstanding.

Around 400 homes jointly managed by Nehemiah and UCHA. A growing number of staff are needed to manage the expanding stock portfolio.

1995 to 1999

Election of the New Labour government in 1997 introduces major changes in housing policy and social housing regulation.

UCE research into black elders undertaken and published and helps guide Nehemiah’s sheltered housing work.

Changes in BME housing policy with less emphasis on support for BME housing associations poses challenges for Nehemiah and UCHA.

Major schemes with other housing associations are ongoing and some inwards stock transfer.

2000 to 2004

 

New Labour re-elected in 2001 with housing policies stressing reduced costs, rent restructuring and tackling housing ‘indecency’.

Nehemiah develops further in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Dudley with mainly sheltered schemes and UCHA spreads further over Birmingham with general needs housing.

Both increasingly offer services ‘more than bricks and mortar’ to more diverse client groups and to aid their respective communities.

Joint housing assets of about £5m and annual turnover of £2m. More staff employed than ever before. Both housing associations strengthen their Boards and invest in new strategies.

2005 to 2009

 

Nehemiah expands into Walsall and Dudley. UCHA still mainly focused on Birmingham and primarily in inner city areas, although excursion into Smethwick.

Following discussion with Black Star and Hamac, which were subsequently subsumed into a mainstream housing association, Nehemiah and UCHA merge in 2007. This is the first time two black-led housing associations merge for positive rather than financial reasons.

The new mission statement is ‘creating successful diverse communities’ which the new association, now called Nehemiah United Churches Housing Association, puts into operation across the West Midlands

Financial crash poses challenges to public and housing services.

2010 to 2014

Election of Conservative-Liberal Democratic coalition government which embarked upon an austerity programme that cut the social housing programme and welfare reform largely targeted at social tenants. New ‘light touch’ and consumerist regulation for social housing.

Nehemiah UCHA expands ever more into community ventures while developing housing steadily for a variety of general and special needs.

Customer Engagement Framework introduced by Nehemiah UCHA.

Establishment  of  the  Nehemiah  UCHA  Academy  and  Charitable  Aid Foundation in 2014.

Catering for the Irish community comes with transfer of properties from CCHG. Work in Coventry.

More than 1,000 homes in management

Nehemiah UCHA Today

Nehemiah UCHA is a progressive housing association formed by the merger of Nehemiah Housing Association and United Churches Housing Association in 2007. Today’s organisation has a portfolio of 1,000 properties serving the multicultural African-Caribbean, Asian and European communities within the West Midlands. Nehemiah UCHA provides homes for single people, families, couples and elderly people in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. As a landlord, the association prides itself on being accountable and accessible to the communities it serves. As a support provider, it assists people to obtain and maintain tenancies, and makes a major contribution to the prevention and alleviation of homelessness. It has a long and proud record of community investment.

Kwadwo Owusu-Darko, Chair of Nehemiah UCHA:

“‘Walls of Courage’ celebrates twenty-five years of the Nehemiah UCHA journey in the social housing movement. Right from the beginning the Christian faith has been central to the founders and board members of Nehemiah UCHA. Our history draws on the rich experiences of courageous men and women from churches in Birmingham who have worked hard to establish the Association in 1989.”

“The history takes its name from the biblical book – Nehemiah - which is the account of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, providing a picture of how the lives of individuals, a community and a nation were rebuilt into strength, power and purpose again. Nehemiah’s message of courage and hope was central in teaching us what needs to be done to strengthen the lives of our people and illustrating the importance of accommodating people in need.”

Lord Bill Morris of Handsworth, former Chair of Midland Heart and General Secretary of the TUC, who wrote the book’s Foreword:

“One of the great successes of black people in the housing field since the 1980s has been the creation of black-led housing associations like Nehemiah UCHA, which emerged from the communities they serve and remain more sensitive to a diverse population whilst bolstering local pride. This book celebrates 25 years of Nehemiah UCHA’s achievements. Based on its contribution to meeting the housing need of the communities they serve, Nehemiah UCHA can move forward, proud of its past and confident of its future.”

Llewellyn Graham, Chief Executive of Nehemiah UCHA said:

“On our 25 year journey from the early days, we have been accompanied by many partners in the community, West Midlands’ local authorities, other housing associations, commercial and social enterprises and prominent individuals too numerous to mention here. I pay tribute to them, all members of our Board of Management and our staff since 1989. This depth of experience and staying true to our values will stand us in good stead as we look to the coming decades.”

History BookletAll Nehemiah UCHA customers will receive a 25th anniversary celebration booklet highlighting the history of Nehemiah UCHA, with quotes and memories from key people who we have worked with over the years from Lenny Henry to Paul Boeteng to Sir George Young and is an introduction to our History Book 'Walls of Courage'.  The booklet also contains details on how to obtain a copy of the 'Walls of Courage' book.

25th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service

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25th anniversary Thanksgiving Service

New Scrutiny Panel Reports

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The Scrutiny Panel has produced new reports and an action plan on Communal Services.  These reports follow feedback and comments from customers on communal gardening, grounds maintenance, cleaning, window cleaning and the use of communal facilities.- Take a look here

Available Retirement Property

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We currently have retirement properties for rent in Birmingham and Smethwick- full details are below.  Anyone who is interested in any of these properties will need to contact the Nehemiah UCHA office on  0121 358 0966.

BIRMINGHAM

Plummer House, Burlington Street, Aston, Birmingham

We have one property available at our retirement living scheme, Plummer House in Aston.

21 Plummer House - A 1 bedroom first floor flat. The Rent is: £146.45 per week

Plummer House Retirement Scheme

All flats within Plummers House have electric storage heating, a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom. There is a communal lounge, communal garden, IT Suite and social activities. The scheme is close to Newtown shopping centre and is suitable for people over 55.  It is also on a bus route.

For more information on Plummers House take a look in the Retirement Living Section of our website here.

SMETHWICK

Charles Pearson Court, Mill Drive,  Smethwick, B66 3HW

We have two properties available at our retirement living scheme, Charles Pearson Court, Smethwick.

9 Charles Pearson Court  - The rent is £136.05 per week. It is a 1 bedroom ground floor flat.

16 Charles Pearson Court - The rent is £137.02 per week. It is a 1 bedroom first floor flat.

Charles Pearson CourtBoth flats have 1 bedroom, a living room, bathroom, kitchen and gas central heating.

There is a Communal Lounge and daily activities for residents.

Charles Pearson Court is within walking distance to Windmill Shopping Centre and is on a bus route.

For more information on Charles Pearson Court take a look in the Retirement Living Section of our website here.

Please contact us on 0121 358 0966 for more details of all the retirement properties listed here.

Help Us to Create A Legacy For Future Generations

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In line with Nehemiah UCHA’s commitment to work on other activities, we are considering setting up a group to help the organisation to deliver more than just social housing, and to create a legacy for future generations.

The Board would like to discuss this with customers and we are offering you the opportunity to be part of this process.

You can help shape the future of Nehemiah UCHA by giving us your ideas on what other activities you think we should deliver.

We will be holding a short consultation workshop, so please let us know what times and venues would suit you.

Please contact us on 0121 358 0966 and ask for the Customer Engagement Officer, or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .