Locals sign petition opposing supported living home but fight may be already lost

Residents are opposing a decision to convert a property into a supported living facility for those with mental health issues in Quinton. Locals living off Ridgacre Road are concerned about 'increased traffic congestion, anti social behaviour, crime and noise pollution', on their doorsteps when the accommodation opens.

The new home- which would house five people - would be by Ridgacre Medical Centre and near to Woodhouse Primary School. The petition organiser also claims there are already several similar 'supported' houses within Quinton.

A petition opposing the plan has attracted nearly 170 signatures. Councillor Sam Forsyth said they could not object to supported living accommodation which is regarded as exempt.

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The petition organiser wrote: "I am a resident of Quinton, Birmingham and I am deeply concerned about the decision to convert the property on Ridgacre Road, by the Ridgacre Medical Centre, into a supported living accommodation for 5 people with mental health issues. We have no idea to the type of mental health conditions these residents have.

"This decision was made without any prior notice or consultation with us, the local community. The establishment of this type of property in our neighbourhood could lead to increased traffic congestion, anti social behaviour, crime and noise pollution.

"It's also worth noting that according to a study by Sheffield Hallam University, H.M.O.s can have negative impacts on local communities if not properly managed. There are already several similar 'supported' houses within Quinton.

"Furthermore, this lack of transparency is concerning. It is essential for residents to be involved in decisions that directly affect their living environment. We urge our local council and relevant authorities to intervene and oppose this 'supported' housing that will have a negative impact in our community."

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Councillor Forsyth said : "We can't do anything about it as a council. We can stop HMOs if they are inappropriate at planning but we don't have the same powers in respect to exempt accommodation.

"I have tried to reach out to the owner about his plans but he's not responded. No one knows what's going on."

A spokesperson from Birmingham City Council said: "We know that residents often have concerns about supported exempt accommodation in their community. Unfortunately, the sector's lack of regulation has meant the council has had limited influence over the number, location, or density of exempt housing.

"We have collaborated with the Local Government Association to advocate for increased regulation of the sector and to secure new powers for councils. Using new legislation, the council is working to introduce a licensing scheme for providers of supported exempt accommodation.

"The scheme will improve the living standards of vulnerable adults in these homes, as well as those who live near them. It is important to note though that good supported exempt accommodation is needed in our city, as it provides crucial help to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

"It can have an enormous positive impact on an individual's quality of life, from physical and mental health to engagement with the community and maintaining someone's independence. The council will continue to monitor the new regulations going forward and will lobby the Government further if needed."