Our history

A brief history

emh group began its work as East Midlands Housing Association in 1946, building a small number of affordable homes for ex-servicemen after the war. Since then, we have steadily grown and evolved to thrive in challenging times.

Today, we provide more than 22,000 homes. We have specialisms in developing homes for rural communities and in providing housing, care and support  to people with learning disabilities and in later life.

We work in more than 45 local authority areas across the region and with hundreds of partners.


1946: emh group starts life as East Midlands Housing Association (EMHA), a traditional housing association set up by a small group of homeless ex-servicemen with an initial capital of just £39 and 10 shillings.

1997: Specialist subsidiary Midlands Rural Housing (MRH) formed to support small, county-based housing associations. MRH now provides rural housing expertise and services to a wide range of customers as well as championing rural housing at a regional and national level.

2005: Foundation Housing Association joins with EMHA, bringing specialist expertise in providing homes and services for black and minority ethnic communities.

2008: Three Oaks Homes – a stock transfer association with 2,200 homes in Blaby, Leicestershire – joins, and the umbrella organisation, East Midlands Housing Group, is registered.

2010: The Group brands its home sales operation as Hello Homes and starts selling this service to other providers.

2011: Three Valleys Housing – another stock transfer organisation based in Erewash, Derbyshire – joins the group, adding a further 5,000 homes.

2013: Enable, a well-established organisation providing care and support to people with learning disabilities in the region, joins the group.

2013: The four housing associations in the group amalgamate to become one new provider – emh homes – and the group re-brands as emh group.

2014: emh green team created to help residents and communities save energy and reduce bills.

2015: First Extra Care housing scheme opened at Oak Court, Blaby, with 50 homes for older people.

2016: Enable rebranded as emh care & support.

2017: award-winning, largest Passivhaus development in the UK completed at Heathcott Road, Leicester, through a partnership between emh group, Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council and Leicester City Council.

2018: emh chosen by Homes England as one of its first Strategic Partners for homebuilding.

2019: ‘Housing First’ homelessness project and partnership launched with Leicester City Council.

2019: emh group is an early adopter of the Together with Tenants Charter.

2021: 75th anniversary, with our headquarters at Coalville extensively remodelled for hybrid/agile and low-carbon working.

2022: Equality and diversity research partnership launched with East Midlands Chamber.

2023: Social Housing Decarbonisation Funding awarded to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes.