Tackling Brum’s housing shortage with creative thinking

Members of Housing Birmingham L-R: Kate Warburton - National Housing Federation, Carol Duckfield - National Landlords Association, Jonathan Driffill - BSHP chair and Housing Birmingham vice-chair, Cllr Peter Griffiths - cabinet member for housing and homes, Jean Templet - St Basils, Robert James - service director for housing

Members of Housing Birmingham L-R: Kate Warburton – National Housing Federation, Carol Duckfield – National Landlords Association, Jonathan Driffill – BSHP chair and Housing Birmingham vice-chair, Cllr Peter Griffiths – cabinet member for housing and homes and Housing Birmingham chair, Jean Templeton – St Basils, Robert James – service director for housing

Cabinet has approved a raft of measures to address the housing shortage in Birmingham today (Tuesday 25 July) with three specialist housing reports.

‘Incentivising self-build in the city’ puts forward a series of proposals to enable the development of new homes for self and custom build in Birmingham, including identifying and disposing of suitable council-owned sites and applying for grants and loan funding to support self and custom build.

‘Driving housing growth through the expansion of InReach – full business case’ sets out proposals for the expansion of the council’s wholly owned company InReach which provides housing for rent at market rents. In order to do this, the council will sell 200 void council properties to InReach per year for the next four years.  In Reach will then rent these out at market rent to finance new builds for social or affordable rent.

Lastly, ‘Birmingham: A Great Place to Live’ asked cabinet to support the ambitions set out in the new Housing Birmingham partnership strategy.  This document has been developed through discussion with people and organisations with a stake in Birmingham’s housing sector   – registered providers, developers, private landlords, community interest groups, students, health colleagues, elected member, housing officers and citizens.  It sets out the strategic direction for housing for the city, setting out an approach that means:

  • A strong supply of new high quality homes;
  • Citizens are able to find, access and sustain housing that meets their needs;
  • Neighbourhoods are enhanced and the quality of existing housing is improved.

Council Leader Cllr John Clancy said: “Housing transforms lives and transforms futures.  It has an impact on people’s physical and mental health, it has impacts on education and much more.  Providing people with better, more secure and more affordable homes is a big priority for Birmingham.  We are ready to work with anyone and to do things very differently to achieve that aim.

“Taken together these three reports show that we will tackle Birmingham’s housing shortage in creative and innovative ways, working with people across the sector to ensure that we deliver homes and make Birmingham a great place to live for all.”

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