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Clarke Wilmott supports housing association to buy new property for homeless people and their pets

27 March 2023
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Law firm Clarke Willmott LLP has advised Gloucester City Homes (GCH) on the purchase of a property that offers accommodation to homeless people and their dogs.

The transaction to buy Citadel House in Stroud, Gloucestershire, financed by a grant from Stroud District Council, will provide homes for up to eight individuals.

The scheme is endorsed by Dogs Trust’s ‘”Welcoming Dogs” plan that supports homelessness services to become dog-friendly by creating and implementing bespoke pet policies.

“Clarke Willmott did a great job acting on the acquisition of Citadel House,” said Robert Panou, Gloucester-based GCH’s head of asset and development.

“This has supported GCH in its mission to provide high quality housing for people who find themselves without a permanent home and a route into a situation where they can thrive.”

Clare Gregory, commercial property partner at Clarke Willmott in Cardiff, advised on the purchase of the property with assistance from trainee solicitor Selina Cowburn.

“It was a privilege to support GCH in its commitment to provide high quality housing for people who find themselves without a home,” said Clare.

“The project will provide a temporary haven for people and their dogs at risk of having nowhere secure to sleep while they find a more permanent place to live.

“There is a significant need for one-bedroom properties to rent in the area and GCH is working with local support networks including Stroud District Council to meet that need.”

A recent survey by Dogs Trust reported 70 per cent of professionals supporting homeless people said clients had experienced barriers accessing homelessness services because they have a dog.

GCH became an independent Housing Association in March 2015 and currently provides 4,522 homes for rent.

Citadel House dates from 1797 and was formerly the Salvation Army minister’s residence. The refurbishment was undertaken by builders Lane Britton Jenkins.


Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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