Alabare's self build homes for veterans

Six previously-homeless veterans have moved into the homes they have helped self build in Leominster, Herefordshire. The houses are part of a larger 19-affordable homes site, and is a result of a collaboration between charity Alabaré and social housing provider Stonewater.

Alabare, which runs a Homes for Veterans programme (for both England and Wales), also now runs the Community Self Build Agency, which works to help homeless and vulnerable people to build a home of their own.

Like other examples of veterans self build schemes, the project was designed to support homeless veterans by developings new skills and experience that both build them a home and provide them with valuable skills that support the return to the workplace.

The homes are now rented to the veterans that helped work on them, with contractor, J Harper & Sons training and supporting them through the process, which continued throughout the pandemic.

Veterans self build resident

Veteran self-builder Dwain (above) said:  “This scheme has changed my life. Only last year I was sleeping rough with no hope and my health suffered. Now I have got my self-esteem back and I am going to have a home I can bring my children to.

“I have also gained qualifications and work experience that will help me get a new job, and support me and my family. It’s been fantastic and thank you all.”

Matthew Crucefix, Director of Development (South and West) at Stonewater, said: “For us, collaboration has been the key to success for this project. This scheme highlights how local organisations, councils and charities can work in partnership to make a difference together and provide much-needed affordable homes for those who need them the most.

Ken Hames, Chief Operating Officer of Alabaré’s Community Self Build (Veterans) scheme describes how veterans have benefitted from being able to build their own homes.  “Self Build has two aspects to it. The obvious primary outcome is a number of dwellings for veterans in housing need. But more importantly, the veteran self-builder rebuilds their life by building their home. The site itself becomes a platform for recovery and transformation, leading to work and independent living.”

Read an earlier story about the scheme. Several other veterans schemes have taken the same approach across the country, such as Plymouth’s Nelson Project. 
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