Birmingham slams Shelter

By on 25/03/2010 in News

Birmingham City Councillor John Lines has spoken out against Shelter’s affordable housing league table for local authorities.

Councillor John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing said, “Shelter is misinterpreting research to criticise councils when what is really needed is some recognition of the barriers standing in the way of councils building the homes they know people need.

“Why don’t Shelter join Birmingham in lobbying the government to review the Housing Revenue Account, something we have been doing for years, so that we can provide affordable homes for our people? The Housing Revenue Account dictates that rent money we collect from our tenants is paid to the government. This year, £64 million of our tenants’ money will be paid to government, money we would rather invest in building homes in Birmingham.

“It is depressing that an organisation which presents itself as a serious advocate for better housing policy is using the all too lazy tactic of blaming local authorities rather than addressing the real issues. Shelter, let’s have less talk and why don’t you join Birmingham in taking action to create some changes?

“Birmingham is determined to continue to deliver affordable homes for our people. Last year we delivered 975 new affordable homes, beating our Local Area Agreement target for the delivery of affordable housing which had been set at 600 for 2008/09.

“In the current year we are again on track to beat our target of 800 new affordable homes and over the three-year life of the Local Area Agreement we are confident that we will exceed the target of delivering an additional 2400 affordable homes, despite the challenges that we face due to the recession.

“I’m proud to say that earlier this year Birmingham starting construction on 230 new affordable homes that we are delivering as part of one the most ambitious council house building pprogrammes in the country, through the Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust.

“Our regulator, the Audit Commission, awarded Brimingham a ‘green flag’ in recognition of our exceptional performance in meeting housing need.”

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