Planning and Housing

11.09.17

Birmingham to build 100 social homes on former pubs and garages

Birmingham City Council will tap into an innovative contractor system to deliver 107 new homes for social rent on small sites such as redundant garages and former pubs in what the authority promises to be “a win for the economy”.

During a meeting tomorrow, the city council’s cabinet is expected to approve the two-year programme worth nearly £19m which will see its housebuilding arm, Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT), deliver more than 100 new social homes for rent and 24 for sale.

The authority’s cabinet member for housing and homes, Cllr Peter Griffiths, said the scheme will contain mostly small schemes, such as homes built on redundant garage courts, municipal depots and the sites of former pubs across the city.

“In order to deliver this, we will encourage smaller contractors to re-enter the house building market using a relatively new system which allows us to take a flexible approach with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),” he explained.

The system that will be exploited – called the Dynamic Purchasing System, or DPS – was approved by the cabinet in June last year. It is essentially a procurement vehicle that allows SMEs as contractors to join “at any point in a four-year term”.

“This decision is based upon the council proactively encouraging smaller contractors to re-enter the house-building market (where traditionally they played a larger role in housing supply than volume house builders),” the council said in a statement, adding that the first four contractors were formally appointed in March this year.

The latest scheme builds on BHMT’s delivery of around 2,500 new homes in the last three years and 20% of all new homes in Birmingham since 2011. It will also help develop 19 apprenticeship opportunities and £660,000 investment into the council’s scholarship initiative, making the programme a “win for housebuilding, a win for the economy and a win for training”.

Despite huge pressures on the council, we are determined to tackle the housing crisis – building new homes, working with housing partners in the region and pursuing creative solutions to address different housing needs,” concluded Cllr Griffiths.

(Top image c. esp imaging)

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