Birmingham City Council has announced a £62m capital investment to increase the sustainable supply of affordable homes to prevent people from presenting as homeless and to take people out of the least suitable accommodation in the city.
The council also agreed a £1m investment fund to refurbish an existing property to enable its use as an alternative to bed and breakfast and £2.5m to set up a dedicated transformation team to increase the supply of homes and to achieve a substantial and rapid enhancement to its housing service.
The council also announced a successful bid of over £680,000 via the West Midlands Combined Authority under the governments Rough Sleepers Accommodation Programme. The money will be used to invest in 40 new units made up of 1-bedroom, self-contained flats allowing rough sleepers to stay for up to two to three years with a move-on plan.
The investment comes as part of the council’s ongoing action to help the city recover from the pandemic.
Targeted activities across a range of interventions are needed to end homelessness starting with significantly reducing the use of bed and breakfast accommodation for those in temporary accommodation. A new City Housing Directorate has also been set up and one of its highest priorities is a new approach to delivering the Housing Options Service. The service is being redesigned to increase prevention activity that avoids homelessness occurring and to provide better support for households who are in temporary accommodation.
Commenting on the investment Councillor Sharon Thompson, Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods, said: ‘This is a big investment on behalf of the council in creating more new affordable homes, refurbishing existing ones, improving the housing service and tackling rough sleeping. Combined they show the level of commitment that Birmingham City Council is making in our housing stock across the city and our desire to tackle the housing waiting list, improve our existing homes and eradicate rough sleeping from our streets. This is part of our desire to see a city wide transformation in our housing future and shows the council is more than playing its part in tackling the national housing crisis.’