Kingdom Housing Association is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
The association was established in 1979 following the closure of the hostel, in Lochgelly, Fife in 1977.
Laurie Naumann, vice chair with Kingdom and one of the founding members, spoke about the early days of Kingdom and said: “During the intervening period the founding members and the Fife Council for Single Homeless, were active not only in overseeing the progress of the former residents in their new homes, but also considering the options for a way forward and were actively encouraged by the Housing Corporation and other interested stakeholders, to form a housing association.”
The lodging house provided housing and support to 44 homeless men and the foundations that led to the creation of Kingdom are still reflected in their objectives today.
After being registered as a housing association, it took until 1986 before the association’s first housing development was completed. That project was in Dunfermline where a derelict tenement block was converted into 16 self contained bedsits and one bedroom flats, to meet the needs of homeless single people.
The association has grown and diversified significantly since the early days and has now developed over 5,000 new homes, for Kingdom and its partners, to meet a full range of affordable housing tenures.
Freya Lees, chair of Kingdom Housing Association, said: “Our mission is to provide more than a home and over the last 40 years Kingdom has delivered on this through the housing and the added value projects we have provided. We have grown and diversified to provide homes and services to meet a full range of needs in the communities where we operate.”
Freya added: “Providing high quality homes and services is a key priority for us, we have ambitious plans for the future and this will allow us to continue building on the achievements we have delivered to date.”
During Kingdom’s 40th year the association will be looking to take forward various initiatives, including; homelessness and employment projects, innovative quality housing developments and projects which deliver customer and community benefits.
The Kingdom Group employs around 400 staff and during the year they will be undertaking volunteering and fund raising initiatives to raise funding to support charities and community projects.
Bill Banks, Kingdom’s group chief executive, said: “We are very proud of what Kingdom has achieved over its forty years and this year will be another very exciting year. We have a long successful track record of working collaboratively with a full range of partners and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all the individuals and public, private and voluntary sector organisations we have worked with over the years, who have all contributed to our success.”
Bill added: “Kingdom Housing Association is the parent company of the Kingdom Group, which includes both Kingdom Initiatives and Kingdom Support and Care. The association also operates and manages the Fife Care and Repair Service, the Fife Small Repairs Service and Kingdom Works, our employability project.
“The range of projects and programmes we provide allows us to pursue our core objectives, related to the provision and management of housing and customer services, and a range of organisational objectives which recognise sustainability, continuous improvement and community initiatives.”
Kingdom operates in Fife, Perth & Kinross, Clackmannanshire and Falkirk and over the next five years, the association plans to continue providing quality customer services and developing new homes in all its areas of operation, as part of its business plan.