A GOVERNMENT fund of £350million has been granted to deliver new homes in the West Midlands.
The so-called ‘Housing Deal’ is part of a programme to build 215,000 new properties in the region by 2031.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the deal with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) today in the Spring Statement.
It has approved £250million for the West Midlands Housing Infrastructure Fund which supports local authorities with housing developments.
The plans involve the delivery of nearly 16,000 homes a year.
The WMCA says funding will deliver infrastructure to support the development of priority sites including Kings Hill, Westwood Heath and Coventry Ring Road Junction 7 in Coventry.
Also benefiting is UK Central development in Solihull brough – earmarked for infrastructure around the HS2 hub.
The WMCA has claimed the fund will assist with reclamation of Brownfield sites and relieve pressure on Greenbelt land.
The Housing Deal will also include a commitment from government to work with Housing Associations n new ways to finance and build affordable housing.
Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Everybody acknowledges the housing challenges we face in this country.
“We have been clear with Government that here in the West Midlands we are a key part of the solution.
“This funding will see tens of millions of pounds invested to remediate brownfield sites, of which our region has many.
“215,000 new homes by 2031 is a challenging target but one that will make a real difference to people in the West Midlands.”
The deal will also create a new Joint Delivery Team with Homes England which will ensure homes are delivered on time.
The delivery team will develop a new “pipeline” of high-priority sites to be developed.
Solihull’s Local Plan, the council’s blueprint for where land is identified for housing needs, is still yet to be finalised.
A housing shortfall of 28,150 dwellings has been outlined and arguments continue about building on Greenbelt land.
The deal comes after news that unoccupied houses – including 500 in Solihull – remain, and the West Midlands has the highest percentage (26 per cent) of homes ‘unfit for human habitation’ in the privately rented sector according to a recent survey.