Green light for new council homes

By on 09/09/2009 in News

Birmingham City Council has secured £6.7 million of government funding today which will be invested in building 129 new high quality council homes in Birmingham , in order to meet the growing demand for affordable housing.

As part of one of the biggest council housing schemes in the country, the new homes will showcase exceptional design and will be energy efficient, helping to reduce residents’ utility bills and contribute to creating a greener city. Tackling the recession head on, the council also plans to provide employment opportunities and apprenticeships through the construction scheme.   

Councillor John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “In January I announced my intention to build much needed council housing in the city once more and lobbied the Government with our tenants and Members. I am pleased that the Minister has listened and subsequently changed the regulations and is showing confidence in our ability to build new homes through our Municipal Housing Trust.

“This is only the first phase of hundreds of council homes for our people, which we know are needed now more than ever. The construction scheme will create many jobs and I am keen to ensure there are a number of apprenticeships also available for our young people.

“Sustainable, affordable homes of all sizes and tenures for our people across Birmingham, is my priority.”

The Council will match fund money secured through the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) with £8 million of its own money, contributing its own land for free to build homes in response to needs of local people, through the Council's Municipal Housing Trust.

The new two, three and four bed homes will be built on Council-owned land in Kings Norton, Hodge Hill, Sparkbrook and Handsworth on a scale of council house building unseen in Birmingham in the last three decades. Eventually the Council plans to deliver 500 new homes per year.

The first phase of homes will be available on a social rent basis while the Council's longer term plan is to create multi-tenure housing opportunities city wide. Building of new homes will begin in March 2010 and be completed by Easter 2011.

Paul Spooner, Regional Director of the HCA, West Midlands,  said, “We are committed to helping local people get access to new, good quality homes and help improve communities. This is one example of where we have worked closely in partnership with the City Council to do just that.“

Katherine Dunn, Local resident and Chair of the Constituency Tenant Group from Kings Norton (proposed location of 40 new homes) said: “This is excellent news for the city and my area. In my view, councils building again is long overdue.”

The building plans play a key role in supporting Birmingham's targets for growth, given population rises predicted over the next 15 years.

Ends

Notes to editors

1. The Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust is the body that will deliver council homes across the city.

2. The homes are designed to code for sustainable homes level 4.

3. Images of Cllr Lines and Elaine Elkington, at the official launch of the Municipal Housing Trust available via Flickr. See link below
http://www.flickr.com/photos/birminghamnewsroom/3903767144/

4. The HCA is the single, national housing and regeneration agency for England.  We bring together English Partnerships, investment functions of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities, with major delivery programmes of Communities and Local Government. Their role is to create opportunity for people to live in high quality, sustainable places. They provide funding for affordable housing, bring land back into productive use and improve quality of life by raising standards for the physical and social environment.

Further information from Belinder Kaur Lidher on 0121 303 6969

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