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  1. ITV Report

New housing for homeless veterans in Plymouth

The flats on George Place were partly built by ex-servicemen, who have since moved into 12 of the homes. Credit: ITV News Westcountry

A housing block built for ex-servicemen, by ex-servicemen has officially opened in the Millbay area of Plymouth.

The site on George Place had an official 'housewarming' celebration earlier today.

12 of the flats have been set aside for veterans, while the other 12 will be affordable housing. Credit: ITV News Westcountry

The Nelson Project self-build scheme has seen more than a year of hard work building the 24-home site, which includes 12 properties which were built by former service personnel who were looking for homes.

Now 12 former servicemen now live in the flats which they helped to build.

The veterans also completed a construction course and some now hold CSCS cards to enable them to find work in the construction industry.

Cade Rich served in the British Army for 7 years, doing a tour in Afghanistan during that time.

He was medically discharged, and struggling to find his feet until he was introduced to the project:

Housing Association, the DCH Group, helped support the building project.

The CEO Paul Crawford says he hopes to be involved in more schemes to house veterans in Plymouth:

"This project is one we are immensely proud to be part of.

The real difference this has made to people's lives is what our work is all about.

I sincerely hope the people who've worked really hard to make this happen can now sit back and enjoy their new home."

– Paul Crawford, DCH Chief Executive
It's estimated that 1 in 10 of rough sleepers in Plymouth are veterans. Credit: ITV News Westcountry

"For me, the Nelson Project represents everything that I think is great about this city.

Firstly, the heart of this project lies in our association with the armed forces. Plymouth is a service city and it was important to recognise this by gifting the land and aiding financially in the form of a capital grant to provide additional local housing.

But it also shows what can happen when multiple agencies pull together. From the very beginning, the Nelson Project has been a partnership, with every party bringing with them their expertise and guidance. I'm delighted to see it complete."

– Patrick Nicholson, Deputy Leader, Plymouth City Council

Watch Nick Smith's report in full here (construction pictures from Forces News):