A housing development in St Helens, Merseyside, isn’t just putting modern methods of construction (MMC) through its paces, it’s also helping to rehabilitate first time offenders.
North West housing group Torus is exploring the use of MMC on its Pennine Close development, where it is building 10 homes for “affordable” rent.
The development is also providing work experience, training opportunities and rehabilitation for the first-time offenders from HMP Hindley, who are assembling the homes off-site.
The houses are being built by the developer, OSCO Homes, which has a factory based at Hindley and have now also opened a factory in Runcorn where offenders can go on to work upon their release.
OSCO provides prisoners an opportunity to gain a skill that significantly increases their employability and they have found that the number of their employees who go on to re-offend is considerably lower compared to national averages.
“The project highlights how Torus are embracing innovative ways to not only provide high quality housing, but to also shape the communities we operate in,” said Chris Bowen, managing director of Torus Developments.
“It is not just about simply building as many homes as possible, it is also about the wider influence we have; and providing opportunities to the people who make up our communities is a big part of that.
“This project is very rewarding in that people who perhaps may have previously been left behind by the system are given a second opportunity, they learn a trade and significantly increase their prospects when they are released.”
Main Image: A visualisation of Pennine Close, St Helens.