A ground-breaking initiative which will provide move-on accommodation for those who have experienced homelessness has been launched in Birmingham.

YMCA Heart of England has officially opened Mary Court in Northfield – a transitional housing block consisting of 27 self-contained flats to help those moving from supported housing into private accommodation.

The development was made possible thanks to a grant of more than £1 million awarded by Heart of England Community Foundation through its Building Better Lives programme.

The programme was set up to provide funding for capital projects that deliver housing solutions for vulnerable or disadvantaged people.

Mary Court will offer medium-term housing for supported housing leavers. Residents will stay in the units for two to three years. This will give them time to settle, gain employment, and move forward in their lives.

The unique architectural design creates a non-hostel atmosphere, and each flat contains a full-sized kitchen area, bathroom, designated living and sleeping areas, and is equipped with essential amenities.

The scheme management and tenancy support will be provided by dedicated housing and support professionals based at YMCA Heart of England’s neighbouring Magdalene Court, ensuring a seamless transition for tenants with regular and ongoing assistance provided.

A celebratory event was held to officially launch Mary Court, attended by local dignitaries and those involved in the project.

Pauline Tomlinson, CEO of YMCA Heart of England, said:

“We are delighted that these 27 units of affordable move on accommodation are now completed – 27 new homes for those who were previously homeless.


“This is a massive achievement for us at YMCA Heart of England and we are so pleased that we have been able to work with and alongside some key partners to deliver this vision.


“We believe that these flats are much more than bricks and mortar, but are the resemblance of instilling hope for so many.


“We would like to thank the Heart of England Community Foundation for its support and financial contributions, as well as Homes England and Unity Trust Bank. We would also like to thank our contractor Morro for the outstanding work completed.”

The £1,052,430 grant provided by Heart of England Community Foundation made it one of the major contributors to the project.

Tina Costello, Chief Executive of Heart of England Community Foundation, said:

“Mary Court is a fantastic development which will make a real difference to the lives of those who have experienced homelessness in the Birmingham area.


“Our Building Better Lives programme was established to help deliver housing support for some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people across the West Midlands, and Mary Court is a project we are extremely proud to support as a key funder.


“We’re passionate about supporting communities across the area to thrive, helping people lead happy, healthy and fulfilled lives, and we look forward to hearing how Mary Court develops in the future.”

To learn more about the scheme, you can visit the YMCA Heart of England website here. And to learn more about our Building Better Lives Programme, click here.