Housing goes from strength to strength

By on 03/02/2010 in News
Dynamic duo- Cllr Lines and Elaine Elkington, Director of Housing and Constituencies at the launch of the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust

Dynamic duo- Cllr Lines and Elaine Elkington, Director of Housing and Constituencies at the launch of the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust

Cllr John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing presented city council with Housing’s annual report on 2 February 2010.

Annual Housing Report 2010.pdf ver

Here is his speech to city council:

Cllr Lines said, “Can I first pay tribute to the officers who are responsible for making 2009 a successful and memorable year for our city.

“We could not have achieved so much without the support- and there are many- of our partners.

“The UK may be an island, but Birmingham is not. We work with all agencies and providers to improve our own homes, Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), private landlords and owner-occupiers and to increase the number of affordable houses built and to exceed all expectations, in spite of the recession and central government.

“All was achieved working with RSLs, developers, contractors, tenants and the cabinet Member for regeneration.

“Our new retirement villages include New Oscott, which is almost complete.
Meadway is well ahead of schedule, Turves Green, Pannel Croft and of course Hagley Road (which was launched last week) are all part of the largest project of retirement villages of its kind in the UK. We are working with the Cabinet Member for Adults and Communities, RSLs and the Sheltered Housing Liaison Board to deliver these.

“Rent arrears are below £10 million - the lowest for over 10 years. With the support of members on housing scrutiny committee we are only one of two in the country to receive a green flag for housing recently - this is no mean feat.

“Our progress in tackling anti-social behaviour is evident, working with BASBU and the police, but there is still much to do remembering our efforts are only as good as the decisions of the courts, which can be very frustrating to both our officers, tenants and residents alike.

“It is on record nationally that this council can be trusted with housing. The Housing Minister Mr Healey has said so himself, he has also congratulated us on our successes this year. We have even received endorsement from the Justice Not Crisis group and even carried out one obscure government policy - we've cleaned out a moat – in Northfield.

“Our Housing Liaison Board movement is now represented on national bodies by our tenants, many Constituency Tenant Group members received the Institute of Leadership Award, the first in the country.

“New homes, decent homes, extra care villages, landlord licensing, rent debt success, empty homes reduced, private homes improved, leaders in the country for fire protection for high rise blocks, gas servicing - the best in Europe. And we're eco friendly, reducing CO2 emissions, all achieved working with our partners in the Birmingham region.

“On 1 December I gave a commitment to this Chamber, following my visit to Lincolnshire, that I would investigate the installation of ground source heating in the city. I would like to announce today that I have not only investigated, but implemented our first pilot scheme in one of our council houses in Yardley Wood.  The ground source heat pump and the necessary insulation has been installed working with Thomas Vale Construction. We shall of course be monitoring its effectiveness. It is a pilot and I look forward to expanding it in the future.

“With our new homes to be at code level four in sustainability we are proving not only to the country, but to the rest of Europe, that we are serious about housing and serious about the environment.

“We have come a long way from those dark days.

“We are now near to emulating our glorious past of leading the country in providing and managing housing for our people.

“Lord Mayor, I invite the council to receive this report.”

Further information from Belinder Kaur Lidher on 0121 303 6969

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