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13/03/2018
West Midlands lands £350 million deal to help meet future housing demand

The West Midlands this afternoon (Tuesday) landed a £350 million deal to help speed up the building of thousands of new homes and meet the region’s future housing needs.

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the Housing Deal with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in his Spring Statement in the House of Commons.

The Housing Deal, the first of its kind with any combined authority, includes approval of a £250 million bid by the West Midlands into the Housing Infrastructure Fund to support the development of priority sites including:

  • The Commonwealth Games Athletes’ village and associated development in the Perry Barr area of Birmingham
  • Greater Icknield and Smethwick in Birmingham and Sandwell
  • Kings Hill, Westwood Heath and Coventry Ring Road Junction 7 in Coventry
  • UK Central development at Balsall Common in Solihull

The deal also includes a Land Fund of up to £100 million to buy and clean up land around priority sites, including the Walsall to Wolverhampton rail corridor, delivering at least 8,000 new homes.

Local authorities in the West Midlands have committed to delivering 215,000 new homes by 2031 in order to meet future housing demand generated by a growing economy and population.

This will involve an increase in delivery to nearly 16,000 homes a year from an average construction rate over the last three years of around 10,000.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said:

As the centre of the UK’s economic growth, housing has been one of the key priorities for the West Midlands which makes being the first region to agree a Housing Deal with Government a huge achievement. Everybody acknowledges the challenges facing the housing market in this country but we were clear with Government that here in the West Midlands we were able to help offer the solution. This funding will see tens of millions of pounds invested to clean up brownfield sites, of which our region has many, to build new homes and install the infrastructure required to accommodate growth. Crucially, this investment provides the funding to deliver the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village as well as a host of sites in the Black Country. In total, we expect to build 215,000 new homes by 2031 – a challenging target but one that will make a real difference to people’s lives in the West Midlands.”

The Housing Deal with the WMCA also includes:

  • A commitment from Government to work on new ways to finance and build affordable housing to rent or buy
  • A new Joint Delivery Team with Homes England to ensure homes are delivered on time and a new pipeline of high-priority sites for development is put in place
  • Support for the creation of a new Centre of Excellence for Brownfield Remediation and Construction Skills in Wolverhampton, which will research new methods of construction such as modular housing, and provide construction skills training in the Black Country

Sean Coughlan, leader of Walsall Council and the WMCA’s lead on housing and land said:

This is an excellent deal for the people of the West Midlands, helping to provide them with a wide choice of good, affordable homes in the years ahead. As our economy continues to go from strength to strength and our population increases so the pressure to build more homes also grows. Not only will this deal help us to deliver more homes faster but it will also regenerate derelict industrial land first so we can reduce pressure on the green belt. This deal is a great start as we continue to work with government on securing what we need to deliver our housing ambitions.”

ENDS

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