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Supporting veterans to transform empty houses into homes

A pioneering project to transform seven derelict houses in Pleasley, Mansfield, is well underway with the first property housing new tenants and the second nearing completion.

Houses2Homes (H2H), the scheme which helps to re-build the lives of veterans by training them in a range of building and renovation skills, is run by TREES Services an East Midlands based social enterprise, with support from Mansfield District Council and New College Nottingham (ncn). The scheme will be featured on national television next Wednesday 7 November at 8pm on Channel 4, as part of The Great British Property Scandal series.

H2H and Mansfield District Council are now appealing for local businesses to come forward to support the next phase of the project through either sponsorship or materials.

Aimi Townsend for Houses 2 Homes, said: "This initiative is benefiting veterans and ex-service families in the local area. To ensure the successful completion of the seven houses we are seeking, sponsorship, materials such as windows and doors as well as mentors and volunteers to work with the veterans. If you are able to support us in any way please visit for further details."

H2H Mansfield is the first initiative of its kind in the country. With the help of serving and ex-service personnel they are transforming the empty houses on Hillmoor Street, Mansfield, into five family homes for veterans and two shared units for four veterans to rent.

Supported by an experienced trainer from ncn, the veterans learn a range of construction skills including brickwork, plastering, plumbing, joinery, painting and decorating and tiling, and by the end of their Apprenticeship they receive an NVQ Level 2 Maintenance Operations qualification.

Cllr Mick Colley, Portfolio Holder for Tenancy Services and Housing Needs at Mansfield District Council, said: "We are committed to supporting veterans and this is an excellent project which provides ex-service men with training and skills that will give them real job prospects for the future and also results in much needed homes for veterans and their families."

Mansfield District Council sold the seven properties on Hillmoor Street to the TREES group for £1, after the Council declared the properties as surplus to requirements. The transfer also saved the Council more than £150,000 in refurbishment costs.

Published 02 November 2012

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