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QUANTUM TENANTS LEAD GRAND DESIGNS

Tenants are playing a leading role in raising the design standards of affordable housing in the east midlands thanks to the Quantum Consortium.

Quantum, a group of housing associations which develop affordable housing for rent and HomeBuy, invited tenants to take part in the crucial stages of designing new homes.

The tenants from EMH (East Midlands Housing), Derwent Living and Futures Housing have been on site visits and examined plans for new homes, as well as looking at recently-built homes and talking to residents.

They also spoke to architects and developers and fed their thoughts back to Quantum’s Design Group.

Minor recommendations such as lowering the height of fuse boxes to suit customers, have already been implemented. More complex design challenges such as increasing the storage space in apartments while maintaining the floor area have been tabled to inform future builds.

The Quantum Consortium consists of three developing members – EMH (East Midlands Housing), Derwent Living and Futures Housing Group - together with four partner members - Advance Housing Association, Foundation HA, Rockingham Forest HA and Wellingborough Homes.

The group aims to respond to an audit carried out by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) just three years ago, which found that the designs of new homes in the east midlands were among the worst in the country.

“As social landlords we have a responsibility to our existing and new residents and the communities in which we all live. Customer involvement and learning from the feedback plays a key role in raising design standards and improving affordable homes.” says Jim Patman, Development Director at EMH, lead investment partner for Quantum.

Paul Casey, Development Director at Derwent Living, said: “With the creation of the Tenant Services Authority, there is growing recognition of the role that residents can play, right through the process of building affordable homes.

“As customer-focussed organisations working very closely with house builders, we are in a strong position to provide a conduit between residents and developers and work to improve standards in the years to come.”

EMH has recently won an Affordable Housing Scheme of the Year award for new homes developed at Hill Court, Bushby, in Leicestershire.

Email: l.hirst@quicksilverpr.co.uk


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