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Wayfarer, a housing consortium led by Abri, has welcomed two new members to become a 17-strong partnership for its 2021-2026 programme.

Bournemouth YMCA and Taunton Heritage Trust have become the latest partners of Wayfarer, alongside existing members including registered providers and local authorities. Both new members provide specialist housing to their local communities.

On joining Wayfarer, Kathie Pearce, Head of Housing and Support at Bournemouth YMCA, said:

“We have 114 units of supported housing and ambitious plans for growth. Small providers play a unique and vital role in the areas they work in, to help tackle the UK housing crisis. 

“Joining Wayfarer gives us the opportunity to tap into the expertise, knowledge and experience of others, and the ability to bid for Homes England grant funding; things we would not be able to do on our own. We are delighted to be part of Wayfarer.”

In 2020/21 Wayfarer members completed 451 new affordable homes as part of Homes England programmes. In the next financial year they are set to complete around 850 new homes, including homes for rent and home ownership as well as specialist housing such as the Next Steps Accommodation programme and Move On Fund.

Karen White, Chief Officer of Taunton Heritage Trust, said:

“Joining the consortium is enabling our almshouse charity to benefit more local people in need of accommodation. Our charity has provided almshouses since the early 1600s and we are delighted to have the opportunity to add a further 12 units to our existing stock of 66 self-contained flats.

“The Trust last increased its estate back in the 1980s and this is an ambitious project for us. We consider ourselves fortunate to have joined Wayfarer and benefit from their experience to help deliver this exciting project.”

Wayfarer, managed by Abri, offers essential support to smaller registered housing providers, enabling them to provide new affordable homes in communities across southern England. With an ethos of better homes, better value, better communities, better lives, they support members to work with Homes England to secure funding and collaboratively increase affordable housing.

Natasha Wilson, Head of Wayfarer, said:

“We are pleased to welcome two new members to Wayfarer for Homes England’s new funding programme. We look forward to working with them to support their ambitions to deliver new affordable homes.”