Friday 27th April 2012
Twenty-four new homes have been built in a West Midlands town to help alleviate the region's affordable housing shortage.
Social housing provider Family Housing has worked in partnership with developer Lovell to complete the homes on Bearwood Road in Smethwick.
The homes, a mixture of three and four-bedroom houses and two-bedroom apartments, are being offered for social rent, affordable rent (set at 80% of market level rent) and shared ownership to help those in housing need.
The £3 million development has been made possible through investment from national housing and regeneration delivery organisation the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). The project also received £250,000 of funding from housing market renewal pathfinder, Urban Living.
Rob Ellis, director of resources and investment at Family Housing, said: "We are pleased that this innovative funding model has allowed us to access support from the HCA to complete this exciting development.
"There is a growing need for high-quality affordable housing in the West Midlands and we are delighted to welcome the first residents into these new homes."
Among the new residents at Bearwood Road is 26-year old Leon Curtis, who has moved into one of the two bedroom apartments. He said: "This is nice and cosy and ideal for me. I wouldn't really look at moving again now."
Research from the National Housing Federation has shown that an average home in the West Midlands costs £177,913, nine times the average wage.
The research also shows that more than 157,000 households (over 350,000 people) are on social housing waiting lists in the region.