Arches Housing Limited was founded on 1st April 1975 by local people who were concerned with the physical decay of housing in the north and east of Sheffield. People remembered the days of slum clearance and by the early 1970’s considered that it had gone too far. The objectives for the association were formed to provide affordable decent homes for rent and the regeneration and revival of communities in the North and East of Sheffield.
The 1974 Housing Act provided the impetus for funding housing associations with the introduction of Housing Association Grants (HAG). The government agency, the then Housing Corporation, provided both grants and loans with the support of local authorities to build or acquire housing for affordable rent.
The association expanded to own and manage more than 500 homes by 1990 and today we own and manage more than 1,200 properties. In recent years we have also added low cost home ownership products to our portfolio
Arches initially employed three staff who were funded by the Manpower Services Commission job creation programme. At that time the organisation managed 16 tenancies. A collective/cooperative equal pay structure was in place from the association’s foundation until 2003 when, to improve efficiency, the board decided to introduce a traditional management structure with jobs being paid according to the market.
In 2005 Arches became a recognised provider of housing services for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Communities. This was as a result of a majority of our existing and new tenants being from a diverse range of cultures and heritage. We are an active member of the BMENational group of housing associations. Where possible, we use a new homes building design matrix which takes account of the needs of local communities. We also use specific new-build design standards including lifetime homes, secure by design certification, sustainability and the Homes England space standards.
For many years the association was given grant funding to mitigate against the payment of corporation tax, but this was withdrawn and as a result this became a cost. In 2010 HM Revenue approved charitable status in consideration of our objective of providing affordable housing.
We look forward to an independent future continuing to provide homes to meet Britain’s acute housing shortage. To do this we will use our resources, provide value for money and work in partnership with local authorities in our region to maximise development of homes, while investing to upgrade our existing homes and improve our services.