Council lobbies against multi- million pound cuts

By on 06/11/2009 in News

Birmingham City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor John Lines, is demanding a better deal for the West Midlands following the government's proposals to reduce the Regional Housing Executive's (RHE) annual allocations by millions of pounds.

As Chairman of the West Midlands' RHE, Cllr Lines has been dismayed by anticipated cuts of £20 million which will mean annual allocations for the West Midlands will go from £74 million in 2009/10 to just £54 million for 2010/11 (a reduction of 27%).

Birmingham is set to lose £14 million from April 2010, which it planned to invest in the provision of decent homes for council tenants and private sector housing. The council’s allocation for private sector housing has already been reduced by £4.6 million in the current financial year.

The West Midlands' Regional Housing Executive is responsible for agreeing regional housing priorities and creating a clear plan for delivery. It was established in recognition that many aspects of housing need to be planned on a regional or sub-regional basis as housing markets cross local authority boundaries.

Cllr John Lines said, “This is a serious matter for the people of the West Midlands and several local authorities across the region, as we will all suffer as a result of these cuts.

“We need to deliver affordable homes for our people but how can we be expected to do this with the government slashing budgets? I want local authorities across the West Midlands to join to demand the government to reconsider its position on this matter.  Collectively, we represent almost 6 million people in this region that is being decimated further by the recession.”


Notes to editors
1. The Regional Housing executive boards were established in recognition that formulaic allocations are unlikely to make the best use of available resources: a better use of resources is likely to be produced by using regional knowledge, informed by a proper, evidence-based analysis of housing markets (including housing need) in the region.
2. Regional Housing Boards must prepare, consult on, publish, and keep up-dated the Regional Housing Strategy, monitor delivery of the Strategy, support and encourage partnership working, particularly partnerships based around sub-regional, housing markets and advise Ministers on how the Regional Housing Pot should be targeted and priority groups to be helped into home ownership.
3. The West Midlands RHE is responsible for delivering sustainable, mixed communities making the best use of limited resources, joining up strategic housing objectives with other areas including, land use planning, economic development and transport.

Further information from Belinder Kaur Lidher on 0121 303 6969

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