Thursday, 26 July 2012

Tackling the affordable housing shortage in Smethwick

A celebration for 24 new affordable homes in Smethwick built to help tackle Smethwick’s affordable housing supply has taken place.

Sandwell Borough Council Mayor, Cllr Keith Davies, joined project leaders and local residents at an event organised by Family Housing to honour the completion of the homes on Bearwood Road. 

Research from the National Housing Federation shows that an average home in the West Midlands costs £177,913 – nine times the average wage.

The research also highlights that 8,250 homes were built in the region in 2010/11, while 18,000 new households are expected to form in the West Midlands each year until 2033.

Sandwell Mayor, Councillor Keith Davies shares a cup of
tea with resident Patricia Sammons

Family Housing worked in partnership with developer Lovell to build the three and four-bedroom homes and two-bedroom apartments, which have been made available for social rent, intermediate market rent (set at 80% of market level rent) and shared ownership to help those in housing need.

The £3million development was part-funded with investment from the Homes and Communities Agency.  The project also received £250,000 from housing market renewal pathfinder, Urban Living.

One lady who has reaped the benefit of one of the new homes is Patricia Sammons, who invited the delegates into her house and gave them a tour of her home.

Patricia, 42, purchased a three-bedroom end terrace property on a shared ownership basis, paying part-rent and part-mortgage.  The single mother of two said: “Before living here I was privately renting for 10 years and I wasn’t able to get onto the council’s waiting list, but I didn’t have a big income.  When I saw this home come up on Right Move I thought that this was the home for me.  It’s been great.  I’ve been able to get onto the property ladder which will benefit me and my children for the future, and it’s in a useful location.  This has been a good move for us.”

Sandwell Mayor, Councillor Keith Davies, added: “It is wonderful to see such schemes like this which in these hard times are much needed.  I would like to see similar schemes developed right across the area.” 

David Gough, regional director for Lovell in the Midlands, added: “I am really proud of the homes we have built here. We have worked closely with Family and the HCA to deliver 24 exceptional dwellings which will provide families in the area with very comfortable, safe and energy-efficient new homes. It is lovely to see residents like Patricia happy in their brand new homes.”

Tim Sewell, chief executive at Family Housing, said: “As a local housing association we focus directly on the housing need in Birmingham and the Black Country.  We are a growing organisation and we will continue to build affordable homes in the west midlands.”

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