Our Housing

Retirement Apartments and Bungalows for Rent

Harborne Parish Lands Charity (HPLC) has retirement apartments and bungalows for rent in Smethwick and Harborne.

Our properties are intended for people aged 60 or over who want to retain their independence. Some of our apartments are designed for wheelchair users.

Harborne Parish Lands Charity
We are a registered charity whose origins date back 400 years.  We are also a registered housing association.  We have been providing housing in Smethwick and Harborne for at least one hundred years.  Our Trustees live or work locally so they know the area well.  They employ staff to manage our housing.  Residents are encouraged to be involved in the running of their scheme and help us maintain high standards.

Our charges
The Regulator of Social Housing sets the maximum charge.  Our charges are Housing Benefit eligible and vary from about £148 to £183 per week, plus a heating & water charge so you don’t have to worry about winter bills.  

Our service
We provide safe and secure housing for people who want to live independently.  Many enjoy the variety of social activities on offer, including coffee mornings, afternoon teas, a craft club, dancing, darts and bingo.  If required, our Support Officer can provide support to help you to live independently for example by putting you in touch with appropriate services.  

Our properties
Our one-bedroomed apartments are self-contained with their own front door and are suitable for couples or single people.  They have central heating and double glazing with a cooker and a fridge-freezer provided in the kitchen.  A Building Manager oversees security, repairs, cleaning and gardening at each scheme.  There are pull cords in every room so that in an emergency you can speak to a member of HPLC staff, or one of the friendly call-centre staff, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Firs Close, Watery Lane, Smethwick
35 smart apartments near Smethwick High St with shared gardens and a patio, guest flat, residents’ lounge, free launderette and lifts.  

Cottages, Coopers Lane, Smethwick
A pretty scheme of 16 bungalows built around a central lawn with residents' lounge and free launderette.
Larksfield, Windmill Lane, Smethwick
Ten sunny apartments (four are wheelchair adapted) with a lift, near Windmill Lane Shopping Centre.  The ground floor flats have French windows opening onto the gardens.

Harborne House, Harborne
32 apartments overlooking the golf course.  Facilities include lifts, free launderette, residents’ lounge and guest flat.

Dore House, Harborne
Close to Harborne High St, this attractive Victorian house is converted into six flats with a lift.  Most of the flats have lovely views of the gardens.

Applying for accommodation
Just complete our application form and then we will visit you where you live now to discuss your circumstances.  Applicants must:
  • Have a low income, be in housing need and want to live independently with a bit of support.
  • Live in our area, which covers Smethwick, Harborne and parts of Bearwood and Quinton.  We give priority to local people, but if you live outside our area you can still apply.
  • Be over the age of 60.

You can contact us by telephone or email or by writing to:

Gill Rigby
Information & Policy Officer
109 Court Oak Road
B17 9AA

Telephone 0121 426 1600

Email : Gill.Rigby@hplc.org.uk
Housing Application Form           Housing Leaflet

Residents’ Scrutiny Panel

Purpose of a Scrutiny Panel
A scrutiny panel is a group of residents who assess the services delivered to residents by their landlord.  They work with residents, staff and trustees and look at how residents receive and perceive the services.  They identify areas of good practice and make recommendations for improvement.  They make sure that high quality services are provided and check that money is used wisely by scrutinising services with reality checks and performance reporting.  HPLC is part of the Midlands Small Housing Association Scrutiny Panel and HPLC residents, Sandra Haynes and Margaret Stevens are members.

Scrutiny Panel Report
First Services to be Scrutinised
Gardening, cleaning of communal areas, window cleaning and use of communal rooms
The Panel looked in depth at the services residents receive including what HPLC expects from its staff and contractors and how this compares with what is actually delivered.  The Panel interviewed staff and residents.
Summary of the Panel’s Recommendations
Report Recommendation HPLC Response
Breakdown of service charge given to residents annually and to new residents Detailed service charge breakdown is given with the annual review of charges and to new residents.
Service specifications to be given to residents Specifications have been put on scheme noticeboards and will be included in the proposed residents’ handbook.
Clarification on who checks or signs off work Contractors are required to obtain a signature from the Building Manager or a resident at each visit.  Quarterly inspections are carried out to which residents are invited.
Publicise opening times of community rooms and activities available. Our community room are usually open (if locked, residents have access to the key).  A list of activities is displayed on noticeboards each month.
Develop procedures for use of communal room. HPLC do not currently have rules for the use of the rooms but this will be explored with residents.
Enable customer representation in employment of contractors. We will shortly be tendering the contract for fire alarm and firefighting equipment servicing and we will seek to involve residents in the selection of the preferred contractor.
HPLC Anti-social Behaviour Policy
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