Hope for Housing comes to Birmingham

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Birmingham organisations to seize the chance presented by new £163 million Government Community Housing Fund

Following a historic week in which the biggest Government investment in community-led housing in England for 30 years was confirmed, the Housing and Communities Research Group at the University of Birmingham is hosting a conference tomorrow (July 9th) with the Birmingham Community-Led Housing Partnership and national policy makers and activists to explore how this new funding could mean Hope for Housing in Birmingham.

On Monday 2 July Secretary of State, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP confirmed the Community Housing Fund of £163 million between now and 2020 in his maiden speech on housing at Policy Exchange.

On Monday July 9, The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), who lead on this policy, will be represented at the Birmingham conference by Deputy Head of Housing Diversification, Isobel Wade. Homes England who will manage and assess applications will be represented by Matt Dodd, Rural and Communities Manager. Matt will explain that the funding will come in two phases: revenue grants to help community led housing groups to fund planning stages and capital for infrastructure; followed by capital grants for the construction of affordable housing.

Also at the conference will be Tom Chance, Director at the National CLT Network who welcomed Monday’s announcement, saying:

“I’m delighted that the Government has made good on its commitment to support communities up and down the country wanting to deliver affordable housing for themselves. Community led housing is a grassroots movement, built on community pride, compassion and a determination to sustain and strengthen local areas. Every community is different, and it’s the communities themselves that are best placed to understand and deliver the housing solutions that are needed.”

Here in Birmingham the last year has seen the emergence of a new partnership to promote a rebirth of community-led housing in the city and region with active support from Birmingham City Council. The group will launch its prospectus at the Conference, and consult with community groups and stakeholders on its vision.

In the final conference session Moving Forward here and now, Councillor Karen McCarthy of Birmingham City Council will respond to ideas from activists and experts from the Confederation for Cooperative Housing, Locality, National Community Land Trust Network and Leeds Community Homes’ and identify what the local authority can do.

Linda Hines, speaking on behalf of BCLHP said:

“The Birmingham Community Led Housing Partnership builds on the City’s strong foundations and rich heritage of delivering and promoting community led housing. With our partnership of local community, statutory and housing stakeholders, we have produced a prospectus that sets out our vision to develop more community-led homes and create flourishing neighbourhoods in our City. We welcome the Government’s announcement and resourcing to support this ambition.”

Conference Organiser, Professor David Mullins said:

"We are delighted that this funding announcement has added a further spark to an exciting event which connects international academic research, local community activism and policy to support community-led housing in Birmingham and the West Midlands. Now we want to engage the enthusiasm, imagination and ideas of our 100 delegates to make the most of this once in a generation opportunity” (Professor David Mullins, Housing and Communities Research Group, University of Birmingham)."

Details of the Conference which connects international academic research, local community activism and policy to support community-led housing in Birmingham and the West Midlands and is now is fully booked can be found at
https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/social-policy/housing-communities/events/index.aspx

 

The Prospectus for the Community Housing Fund

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-housing-fund-prospectus

Further Information

David Mullins d.w.mullins@bham.ac.uk 07971 297187