Cirencester Housing was formed in 1949 by a small group of people who were passionate about providing homes in a post-war Britain that was facing its worst housing crisis for some time.
A new approach to supplying people with houses was needed. This led to a variety of innovative housing ideas across the country.
Despite having to overcome more challenges along the way, Cirencester Housing continued to increase the number of affordable houses by purchasing properties from the open market and obtaining money for development from the government, private lenders and by using our own reserves.
We’re proud of what we’ve achieved at Cirencester Housing in the last 70 years. We hope this short history will show you why, as we look forward to the years ahead.
All of us at Cirencester Housing truly respect and care for the people who live in our homes and those who need homes. As we have done for 70 years, Cirencester Housing will steadfastly provide homes and a personal caring service to our customers and we hope to do so for many more customers during the next 70 years.
1949 - 1950
The beginning of Cirencester Housing
After World War II, Britain was faced with its worst housing crises of the 20th century with an estimated 750,000 new homes needed across England and Wales.
A board of local people including the 8th Earl Bathurst formed Cirencester Housing Society, obtaining funds from Cirencester Urban District Council to deliver social housing. Land was subsequently donated by Colonel Chester-Master.
1950 - 1955
The first developments in Cirencester
Cirencester Housing’s 40 ‘Easiform’ houses and two blocks of flats in Shepherd’s Way were occupied. In 1955 clothes lines were placed at the rear of the flats to prevent ‘unsightly’ washing hanging over the balconies of the flats.
Tailoring homes to suit the needs of our customers
Cirencester Housing makes structural changes to a home to enable a handicapped resident to stay in their home, long before this was standard practice.
Building further developments
Cirencester Housing built and sold flats and houses on the open market to repay its debt and generate funds to deliver more social housing including; Lavender Lane, Jefferies Court and the takeover of Vyners Close from Corinium Housing.
Warm energy efficient homes for tenants
Cirencester housing installs gas central heating and double glazing in the majority of homes to improve warmth and energy efficiency for its tenants. A new roof is installed and balconies enclosed from the weather at 71-93 Shepherd’s Way to improve warmth.
In addition, they build 4 houses on the car park of Lavender Lane.
Challenges for funding
Cirencester Housing buys bungalows in Southgate Mews and Chester Mews off the open market as funding for new projects is increasingly harder to source.
Health safety measures are implemented
Further improvements are made to properties including: installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and creating ‘houses for life’, with walk-in showers and wet rooms.
2005 - 2006
Cirencester Housing is recognised as charitable body
Cirencester Housing embarked on securing exempt status, including consultation with tenants. The benefits were supported by all and Cirencester Housing gained exempt status as a charitable body under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act.
Pethera close bungalows are also built and occupied on the site of former garages.
Cirencester Housing celebrates its 60th Anniversary
Cirencester Housing celebrated its Diamond Anniversary. Lynne Barber, former CEO, organised a roadshow for Board members to meet tenants. In addition, each household received a celebratory gift voucher as a reaffirmation of the positive relationship between residents and Cirencester Housing over the years.
Cirencester Housing partners with the Gloucestershire Rural Housing Alliance
Cirencester Housing joins the Gloucestershire Rural Housing Alliance and the New Futures consortium to deliver more homes in the Cotswolds.
Cirencester Housing expands developments in rural villages
In partnership with Hills Construction, 3 affordable homes in Stonesfield Close, Southrop are occupied, becoming the first homes Cirencester Housing provided outside of the boundaries of Cirencester Town.
Taking care of local communities
At the bequest of the Cotswold District Council, Cirencester Housing purchases a home in Fairford for a local family to occupy.
11 Homes built in Arlington Fields, Bibury
Arlington Fields, Bibury homes are occupied after 8 years of working with the local community to identify and purchase land, and to secure planning permission to build 11 homes to meet the local housing need.
2019 - 2020
12 homes built in Churnbridge Row, North Cerney
Churnbridge Row, North Cerney homes will be occupied in 2020. Cirencester Housing started this project in 2013, in support of the parishes of North Cerney and Badgendon to deliver homes to serve the housing needs of their local communities.