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Starts at Home 24th August 2016

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Starts at Home is a national day of activities on 1 September to celebrate and advocate for supported housing in communities across the country.

Tyne Housing Association provides supported housing accommodation to vulnerable people across Tyneside and Northumberland to help them to live independently in their own homes.  We, together with a number of other housing providers, campaign supporters and local politicians across the country, will be supporting the initiative, which aims to ensure that people who need extra support will always have a home that meets their needs.

The Government is reviewing how supported housing is funded and we believe that it must take this opportunity to fund supported housing now and in the future.  MP’s will start returning to Parliament next week and although some have stood up to champion supported housing, we are hoping our local MP’s will be persuaded to support this campaign.

Throughout the campaign, we will be highlighting examples of positive stories of people that have, and continue to, benefit from our services who have gained independence, confidence and stability through supported housing.



Marie Graham

Marie Graham, Deputy Chief Executive of Tyne Housing Association who is supporting the ‘Homes for Cathy’ group which aims to raise awareness of the issues of homelessness.

A North East housing association is helping to raise awareness of the continuing needs of homeless people in the region by signing up to a national campaign.

Tyne Housing Association (THA), which provides supported housing and day services for vulnerable people, has joined a consortium of other registered housing providers in the ‘Homes for Cathy’ group.

The play, directed by Ken Loach, led to a public outcry about the problem of homelessness.  The country united and people came together – often in partnership with their local churches – to form housing associations in their communities to provide homes for homeless people.

Despite housing associations and others building hundreds and thousands of homes over the last 50 years, the problem of homelessness has not gone away.  More and more families are being accepted as homeless by local authorities up and down the country, and last Christmas over 100,000 children were living in temporary accommodation.

According to a report released by DCLG, there were 57,750 households accepted as Statutorily Homeless in the financial year 2015-16 – a rise from 54,430 (6%) from the previous year. This represents the sixth consecutive annual rise. Although the number of homeless households is slowly reducing here in the North East, the national figure has risen by 54% since 2010.

THA’s homelessness service provides housing, support, employment and training for homeless and vulnerable adults across Tyneside and Northumberland. In the last financial year, 1,077 people applied to access THA’s housing and support services – helping them to live independently in their own homes, secure employment and support their families. 

Tom Davis, 40 of Farm View in Byker moved into supported housing by THA in 2009 and hasn’t looked back since.  Between the ages of 18-31, he led a life of crime and spent most of his time in and out of prison.  He had a drug and alcohol addiction which led to more crime and homelessness when he wasn’t in prison.  Tom explains that if support and accommodation had not been offered, his story would have been very different to today. 

He said, “I was determined to stay out of jail for good.  The last time I was released, I decided I wanted to change my life so went into a homeless hostel provided by THA.  I lived there for a year before moving into a supported house – I felt ready and able to manage in a smaller shared house.  It was much better for me to go into a shared house with support instead of going into somewhere on my own with no support, I hated being on my own at the time.” 

Marie Graham, Deputy Chief Executive of THA, said: “The original drama series of Cathy Come Home highlighted the issues of homelessness and here we are today, fifty years on, and the same problems still exist in our society. 

“The correct systems and structures need to be put in place to provide the required support to homeless and vulnerable people like Tom who has successfully gone on to change his life.  Despite the number of new homes being built across the country, there is still not enough being done to help the homeless and we, like all the other landlords as part of the Homes for Cathy group, hope to raise even more awareness of the continuing needs of homeless people across the country and in particular, here in Tyneside and Northumberland.” 

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the television drama series, Tyneside Cinema will be showing a special screening of ‘Cathy Come Home’ in November and further details will be announced soon.

Homes for Cathy 01st August 2016

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Tyne Housing Association is proud to be a member of the ‘Homes for Cathy’ group - a national alliance of 20 housing associations helping to raise awareness of the continuing needs of homeless people.

The group was set up in the 1960’s following the ‘Cathy Come Home’ BBC television drama in 1966.  This November marks the 50th anniversary of the production that highlighted the plight of a homeless family and inspired people to form housing associations.

The play, directed by Ken Loach, led to a public outcry about the problem of homelessness.  The country united and people came together – often in partnership with their local churches – to form housing associations in their communities to provide homes for homeless people.

Tyne Housing Association are planning some local initiatives in the lead up to the anniversary celebrations in November and more information will be announced on our website.

You can view a copy of the latest Home for Cathy Newsletter here.


Tyne Housing CEO Announcement 20th November 2015

Ian Johnson New CEO announcement


Farm View Project Video 16th July 2015

Retired Chief Executive Maurice Condie, Art Uddgren (Robertson Project Manager) and Phillip Wilson (Director at Anthony Keith Architects) talk about the design and construction process involved in the completion of Farm View. In the video they talk about how remains of the Roman Wall were discovered beneath the construction site and how elements of the wall are sympathetically included in the finished building design.


Farm View Official Opening09 January 2014


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We are pleased to announce the opening of Farm View, our new 42 bedroom modern housing development in the heart of the Ouseburn Valley.

The building was officially unveiled by Sir Nigel Sherlock, KCVO, OBE, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear in his last appointment before he retires.

Guests were invited on a tour of the building and were told about the history of the site, including how part of the building sympathetically straddles the old roman wall.

Please visit the news story below on the Newcastle Chronicle website for further information and for more pictures of the development:


Work starts on first new homes in heart of Ouseburn Valley for half a century 7th June 2013

Pictured above (left to right), Martin Westgate - Robertson, Anthony Keith - Anthony Keith Architects, Geoff Cook - Tyne Housing Chair, Maurice Condie - Tyne Housing Chief Executive.

Construction begins today (7th June) on a new housing scheme which will see the first new homes built in the heart of the Ouseburn Valley in more than 50 years.
The £6m project, commissioned by Tyne Housing Association, will create 42 new one-bedroom apartments at the site on Foundry Lane. The development will also support 40 jobs until its completion in August 2014.
Overlooking the Ouseburn Farm the new homes, delivered by integrated infrastructure, support services and construction group, Robertson, will provide social housing for vulnerable people in the heart of Newcastle.
Robertson and Anthony Keith Architects have been working closely with English Heritage on plans for the development, which will be built on the site of a section of Hadrian’s Wall.
Once completed, the apartments will form an L-shape building which sympathetically straddles the Roman wall. Complete with a roof garden, providing residents with outdoor space and enviable views of the area, the development will also feature mural depictions of the site’s Roman history.
Martin Westgate, Business Development Director for Robertson in the North of England, said; “With a strong track record in successfully delivering Social Housing projects, Robertson is pleased to have been appointed as the Main Contractor for the Ouseburn Valley scheme."
“Working closely with Tyne Housing Association and the Architects, we are confident in our ability to deliver homes which not only meet the needs of future residents, but are also sensitive to the historic significance of the site.”
Geoff Cook, Chair of Tyne Housing Association, which also runs the Ouseburn Farm, said; “We are tremendously excited and proud of this development. We are already a landlord in the Valley and contribute to the Valley’s unique and vibrant cultural side through Ouseburn Farm."
“These apartments will not only help bring a greater sense of community to the area but will also provide the City with additional, much needed social housing.”
Tony Keith, of Anthony Keith Architects, said; “The site, with its dramatic backdrop of the Ouseburn bridges, faces south and west giving us the opportunity to create apartments with panoramic views over the valley and city.”

For Robertson media enquiries, please contact.

The BIG Partnership

Derek Main
0141 333 9585
07702 312 523

Phil Addicott
0141 333 9585
07824 666 956


Streetwise Opera - The Answer to Everything on tour 19th June 2013

A touring version of the show that just premiered at the BFI in April. It’s called The Answer to Everything and is an interactive film and live opera event set in a conference run by fictional property developer, Locateco Solutions. It's on at Tyneside Cinema on Wednesday 19th June.


Tyne Group subsidiaries provide best value April 2013

Recent Freedom of Information requests to local authorities in our area reveal the cost of supported housing and direct access housing for homeless people varies widely between providers.

In one local authority the average cost of direct access hostel provision, with 24 hour 2 person waking cover is £8,504 per bedspace per year. However Under the Bridge Charity delivers this very service for £7,023 per bedspace per year. All the services have been quality assessed by the local authority and found to be very satisfactory.

More staggeringly, in the same local authority, shared housing schemes and clusters/blocks of flats with on-site staffing (excluding 24 hour staffed direct access provision) cost an average of £6,957 per bedspace per year. Byker Bridge Housing and Support delivers this service for £3,298, less than half the average cost. If all the providers of this sort of supported accommodation were paid at the same level as Byker Bridge Housing and Support for similar services, the council concerned would save £2.5m per year.


Soroptimist International 24th April 2013

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Newcastle Soroptimists have been supporting ‘Under the Bridge Charity’ for many years and this cheque presentation for £1,000 was a welcome gift to support homeless people. President Kath Shearer was at the Joseph Cowen Healthcare Centre in Byker to hand over the cheque to Lynda Smith, Centre Manager and Bill Brown, Chairman. Members of Soroptimist International of Newcastle upon Tyne regularly donate clothing, toiletries, and beverages.

Cheque presented Wednesday 24 April 2013.


Streetwise Opera April 2013


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Streetwise Operas visit to London.


Byker Boat June 2012

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At the end of last year Residents of Byker Bridge were given the opportunity to take part in something extra-ordinary, to build a boat in Byker, but not only that, to do it in a Church. This was organised by Alex Finnegan, who runs the Puppet Ship Community Interest Company, as he secured funding from Newcastle Science City Community Science Team, to built the boat, and met David Humes of Byker Community Centre, who suggested that it could be built in St Michael’s Church. The aim was not only to end up with a boat that can hopefully be used by the local community, but to engage people who may normally be socially excluded, and communicate key science themes and skills that may help them back into employment, education or training. The project started mainly in January 2012, where one afternoon a week, or more at times, residents went to St Michaels to help in building the boat. Part of the excitement was the fact that not many people can say that they have built a boat, and also that it was done from scratch. Over the weeks, we learnt how to set up the mold for the boat, ensure that it was straight by the use of a laser light and string, and then with arrival of the wood, we learnt to use jigsaws to cut out the different sections/planks of the boat, how to mix the glue, and also filler for filling in the odd gap! From sanding, gluing, filling, painting, clamping, you name it we did it. Not only did myself and other residents learn new skills and techniques, but over the months, it was plain to see that everyone’s confidence and self esteem greatly improved. What was also great was that as the word spread, local members of the community popped in to see the boat and how we were progressing, and some even joined in on different days. The decision to call it Byker Belle was made jointly between all the people involved, and when deciding what colour to paint it, one of the residents suggested Byker colours, so Alex approached John Lee CEO of Your Homes Newcastle, and asked if we could have some Byker paint, to which he thankfully said yes.

This has to be one of the most amazing experiences that I certainly have ever had the chance to be part of, and I am sure the other residents will agree to that too. Not only has it filled them with pride when it was launched on the 31st May 2012 and we rowed it on the Tyne, but also the skills and knowledge that they have gained through taking part in this will help in other aspects of life, be it gaining employment, having the confidence to push yourself to do things when previously you might have said “I can’t do that, ” but now they know that actually they can, or to go on to further training. It has been an amazing accomplishment for the residents that took part, and that is down to the creative thinking and ways of Alex Finnegan in making learning and developing skills, fun and interesting, and in a way where people are told its ok to make a mistake, and to learn at their own pace, and do things that they are comfortable in doing.

What next??? Dependant on funding, the plan is to try and build another Byker boat, the aim being to hopefully bring back racing on the Tyne.

Please check out for more information.


Centre For Economic Strategies Award August 2011

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Tyne Housing Association Ltd received a commendation award from Centre For Economic Strategies (CLES). The CLES Commendations are nominated by CLES staff and highlight initiatives that have achieved positive local change. This year’s commendations are focused on projects creating resilient places; having a significant impact on beneficiaries; tackling issues in an interesting and/or innovative way; dealing with a particularly difficult or pertinent regeneration/economic development challenge; and bringing about transformational change.

Tyne Housing Association received the commendation for highlighting how assets can be developed for community benefit, following the development of a range of our projects in recent years including the conversion and continued development of St Silas Church into a multi-purpose community centre, office complex and housing; the development of the Beavans Building into sustainable accommodation, the contribution of Ouseburn Farm to support community development and training; and the conversion of a local pub into a healthcare centre.


Streetwise May 2011

Streetwise Opera run weekly workshops with participants from Byker Bridge Housing and Supprt at St Silas Church on Wednesdays from 3.15 pm till 4.45pm. The workshops are an opportunity to sing and act in a safe environment and welcoming environment. Through these sessions friendships are forged and confidence is built. The workshops are led by professional singers and a support worker from Byker Bridge is always present to encourage participants deal with any issues that may arise.

Streetwise Opera provides participants with regular opportunities to perform in public and to go on theatre trips. Recently the group made a short film about the Hartlepool Monkey with other Streetwise Opera groups from the North East, all the music was written by professional composers and the film were produced by professional film makers. This culminated in a premiere in London where all the groups from around the country who had also made short films as part of the Fables project performed, and the films were screened as part of the Spitalfields music festival. This event had very good reviews from the national press and the group are still performing this with screenings of the films locally, and Fables is being shown at film festivals internationally. Streetwise Opera also have opportunities for participants to go on work placements giving them the chance to gain valuable work experience.


Animals return to the farmNovember 2010


Tyne Housing Association, based at the nearby St Silas church building.

Residents from Byker Bridge Housing and Support are given training and therapeutic work at the farm, which will now supply the hostel with fresh eggs.

“The old Byker Farm was a major draw which brought people into the valley and the return of the animals to the new farm is a day for which we have been waiting for a long time,” said Mr Condie.


Opening of BeavansNovember 2009

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On the 5th November 2009 Byker Bridge Housing Association opened the Beavan's building, a 30 flat development in Byker, Newcastle. The project, designed by Gosforth-based Anthony Keith Architects, is situated in the landmark former Beavan's department store.

Newcastle City Council leader John Shipley carried out the opening ceremony at the development.
Council leader John Shipley said: "Now, more than ever, it is essential to find new uses for exisiting buildings."
"We need to find imaginative solutions such as this scheme and use the city's exisiting building effectively."
"Building like this are at the heart of our local communities and we need to make sure that both the communities and the buildings they live and work in are sustainable."
"We need to bring exisiting buildings up to modern sustainability standardsbeause high standards for new buildings alone will not achieve the Government's carbon reduction targets."