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Tenants' satisfaction 'through the roof' as Kingdom Housing Association commissions more secure homes

Scotland’s Kingdom Housing Association (KHA), which hit the headlines last year after achieving the UK’s highest crime reduction figures for including recognised crime prevention measures into its developments, is set to complete 36 more homes this August.

The tenants moving into the affordable housing development at Burnbrae, Kincardine, will additionally benefit from properties with built-in security.

This is due to proven crime prevention techniques recommended by Secured by Design (SBD), the national crime prevention initiative, which works alongside the Police Service around the UK.

SBD’s proven crime prevention techniques include layout and landscaping, such as incorporating natural surveillance and limiting through movement, and increasing the physical security of buildings, such as attack resistant doors, windows and locks to deter opportunist burglars.

SBD has a national network of SBD trained officers and staff in Police Forces around the country who work with architects, developers and local authorities at the planning stage to design out crime.

Local Designing Out Crime Officers worked with KHA, which is based in Fife, and local developers, Hadden Group, of Perthshire, at the outset, before construction commenced on the £4.86m development of one and two bed flats, two and three bed houses and one amenity bungalow to cater for people with limited movement, in April 2017.

The homes will be for social rent and mid-market rent, (higher than social rent but lower than market rent).

Last September, Police Scotland announced that 3,000 KHA homes built on 153 developments in Fife over the last 20 years had experienced 87% fewer reported crimes compared to properties not similarly designed and protected.

The crimes included in the study were housebreaking, attempted housebreaking, (the Scottish equivalent of burglary and attempted burglary in England), sneak in thefts (access through an insecure door to steal) and opening of Lockfast Places (usually vehicles, sheds or outbuildings/garages where the locking mechanisms are overcome to gain entry for theft).

The study found that only 1.8% of all of the 3,000 SBD homes were subject to these crimes compared to 14.2% of the non-SBD properties.

Scott Kirkpatrick, Director of Development, KHA, said: “We have found that working with SBD results in a safer environment for our new tenants who may have moved out of poorly designed areas that led to a pattern of relatively high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Our latest tenant survey in 2017 shows that satisfaction rates with our new build developments have gone up to an average of 98% across all our developments. With being safe and secure so important in moving into a new home, this result suggests that tenants value living in secure homes and in safer well designed environments.

“We will certainly continue to work closely with Secured by Design on all our developments,” he added.

Established in 1979 to provide housing and support for single vulnerable people in Fife, KHA has gone on to become one of Scotland’s leading housing associations – developing more than 4,000 homes across East Central Scotland to meet a wide range of housing needs.

Steven Brady, Managing Director, Hadden Group, added: “We recognise the value SBD brings to developments to ensure they are safe and secure communities and we’re proud to have successfully delivered Burnbrae for Kingdom Housing Association.”