On Monday 5 November David Mullins, Emeritus Professor of Housing Policy presented a 36-page report of the July Hope for Housing Conference to the Steering Group of Birmingham Community Homes and to Councillor Karen McCarthy, Chair of Planning at Birmingham City Council.
The report put forward a number of recommendations to the council, some of which includes:
- Work with Birmingham Community Homes to identify and address strategic barriers to meeting the target for 5% of new homes in the city to be community-led by 2031.
- Strategic Support Appoint a political champion for Community-led housing within the council and develop a policy environment to support it across services such as planning, housing, and asset management.
- Planning and Land Undertake a review of sites to assess suitability for CLH and make specific provision within Local Plans for CLH projects.
Empty Homes There are currently 6-7000 empty privately owned homes in Birmingham and the council is currently reviewing its empty homes strategy. There is a proven track record of community-led housing in bringing empty homes into use, including in Birmingham, 2011-15 under the Empty Homes Community Grants Programme (EHCGP) which provided national grant funding to lease or purchase and refurbish.
Find the report here.
Tom Chance, Director, National CLT Network:
"England's second city joins a small but growing group of councils writing community led housing into their strategies and plans. Every council should study the recommendations that emerged from this conference, and which build on recent work by the Co-operative Councils Innovation Network.
"The timely conference showed that by getting all our "c's in a row - council, community, collaboration, and co-operation - we can bring a new energy and new ideas to meeting our housing needs."