Double whammy: council wins national housing awards

By on 10/11/2011 in News

Birmingham City Council's housing department continues its winning streak by adding another two prestigious national award to its collection. 

The City Council's house building programme – Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BHMT) – won the top prize of Outstanding Achievement in the UK, making it the best-of-the-best in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  The council also won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Housing in England at the UK Housing Awards in London yesterday (Wednesday 10). 

The housing team involved in BHMT received the awards for its council house building programme, beating five other organisations in its category and sweeping the board as overall winner.

In order to win the award BMHT was closely scrutinised by the UK Housing panel.  This included providing information on how the house building programme has made a significant contribution to housing in England and the UK, by delivering more for less during economic difficulty. 

This is demonstrated by the council's innovative unconventional sales model which de-risks development and secures planning approval for each site in advance of procuring a construction partner.  It defers payment for its land until the developer has sold each home.  It is at that point the council takes its income and re-invests it in future schemes.  This approach reduces the developers' risk and allows a gradual and cost effective way of funding new houses and keeps Birmingham building.

BHMT was also recognised for its help to tackle unemployment, as every one of the council's developments includes work for local people by either training schemes or formal apprenticeships.  So far over 100 people have benefited under the housing programme.

Cllr John Lines, Birmingham City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “I'm absolutely delighted with this result.  In total we have now won four awards at national competitions, this is a testimony to how Birmingham's leading the way across the whole of the UK, showing others how to provide an excellent housing service.

“This is a very proud moment for everyone involved in BHMT.  But this good work could not be done without working in partnership with our construction partners: Lovell, Frank Haslam Milan, Kier, Keepmoat and Linden Homes.

“Currently, BMHT has 1,340 homes already completed or in various stages of construction.  We only started this programme two years ago and are going from strength to strength and it's all down to hard work, dedication vision and most of all team work.”

The UK Housing Awards, by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and Inside Housing magazine, was presented by Michael Portillo at the Hilton hotel in London.  The Awards recognise excellence across 11 categories for outstanding achievement in housing. 

Ends

For more information contact Karen Blanchette on 0121 303 6969.

Photographs can be downloaded from the following link - http://www.flickr.com/photos/birminghamnewsroom/5818205860/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/birminghamnewsroom/3791856266/

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