COMMUNITY ANCHORS: A look back on the year from Castle Vale Community Housing

Words by Simon Wilson, Chief Executive Officer – Castle Vale Community Housing

The last 12 months have certainly been challenging, both for us as an organisation, but more importantly for our tenants and for the residents of Castle Vale.

The Cost-of-Living crisis has continued to put pressure on people as food and energy costs remain stubbornly high. During the first part of the year, we continued to distribute our well-received Cost-of-Living information packs. In the Spring we convened a Summit to discuss the issues further and raise awareness of the sources of support available.

The Summit brought together a range of agencies across Castle Vale, including schools and faith groups as well as our partners at Spitfire Support and Compass Support. Colleagues from the City Council provided very helpful updates about the work they have been doing and we used the opportunity to link organisations and lay the foundation for future work during the year. Our new Community Governance team started work in October and they are now taking forward this ongoing collaboration.

I continue to be incredibly proud of the huge range of services our charity, Compass Support have provided through the crisis, including providing a Warm Welcome space at The Sanctuary and distributing household support funds from the City Council to those most in need.

During the year, our Board approved a significant investment to fund a project that will see windows and doors replaced on the majority of our properties across Castle Vale. We know that this is a major issue for our tenants and we understand the frustration about the length of time it has taken. That is why I’m very pleased to say that work on this will begin next year and will now progress over a 2-year period.

Underpinning all these successes is the relationship we enjoy with our tenants. Understanding and responding to their needs is vital to help us fulfil our obligations as a landlord.

We now have a new Communications Team in place, and they will help us to respond more effectively and provide more regular feedback on the issues that matter to our tenants and the residents of Castle Vale. We know that tenants want us to communicate better with them so that they feel more in touch with how we are working and have a voice in how we improve services to them.

On behalf of everyone at Castle Vale Community Housing, I wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year.

(This column was written for initial publication in the Erdington Local newspaper – published on 8 December.)

For more on Castle Vale Community Housing visit

For more on The Pioneer Group visit and for more on Compass Support visit

Castle Vale Community Housing, The Pioneer Group, and Compass Support are key partners in the Erdington Local COMMUNITY ANCHORS programme – supporting independent local and community journalism.

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