Proud history, bright future

The history of our organisation dates back more than 50 years to when Family Housing Association was set up by the Catholic Housing Aid Society.

Since then we have grown into an organisation which is proud to provide 30,000 homes across the West Midlands.

In 2019 we made the decision to amalgamate our group structure and become one organisation – Citizen.

Though our future is our focus, we are immensely proud of our history.

You can find out more about how our organisation has grown over half a century below.

We are proud to be a major part of the rich history of social housing.

The early years: 1964-1974

1964 – Family Housing Association (Birmingham) is set up by the Catholic Housing Aid Society (CHAS)

1968 – Harden Housing Association is established

1972 – St. John Kemble Hereford Association is established – taking its name from an English Roman Catholic martyr

1974 – Worcestershire Housing Association is established

A growing group: 1974-2000

1998 – Harden Housing Association and St. John Kemble Hereford Housing Association boards form West Mercia Housing Group

1999 – Optima Community Association is created as a partial stock transfer of five city centre estates from Birmingham City Council

1999 – Worcestershire Housing Association joins West Mercia Housing Group

1999 – SHYPP (Supported Housing for Young People Project) is set up to deliver a new project for 16-25-year-olds

2000 – Coventry City Council transfers their housing stock to form Whitefriars Housing Group


The road to WM Housing Group: 2000-2010

2003 – Worcestershire Housing Association becomes Nexus Housing

2004 – Whitefriars creates the HomeWorks brand for its repairs service

2004/5 – SHYPP becomes part of St. John Kemble Housing Association

2005 – St. John Kemble Housing Association changes its name to Kemble Housing

2007 – Spectrum Development Partnership launched with West Mercia Group as lead partner

2008 – Whitefriars joins West Mercia Housing Group

2010 – West Mercia Housing Group changes its name to WM Housing Group



From group to one organisation: 2010-2019

2011 – West Mercia Development Ltd launches – trading as Signature New Homes
2012 – Harden Housing Association merges with Optima Community Association
2012 – Optima Community Association joins WM Housing Group
2013 – West Mercia Homes formed as a legal entity responsible for Kemble, Nexus and Harden homes
2014 – Family Housing Association joins WM Housing Group
2017 – Nexus and Kemble officially merge and change name to West Mercia Homes

2019 – WM Housing Group and all of its subsidiary providers amalgamate to become one organisation with a new brand – Citizen

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