Turning garage sites and pubs into 131 new homes
Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve a two year house-building programme worth nearly £19 million at a meeting on Wednesday 13 September.
The programme will see the council’s house building arm - Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT) – deliver 107 new homes for social rent and 24 new homes for sale on small sites such as former garages and pubs. It will also provide up to 19 apprenticeship opportunities and around £0.66m of income to support the award-winning Building Birmingham Scholarship initiative.
Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for housing and homes, Cllr Peter Griffiths, said: “BMHT has built around 2,500 new homes in the last three years and has built more than 20% of all new homes in Birmingham since 2011. 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.
“This latest programme contains mostly small schemes - building houses 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)*. Alongside this much-needed investment into smaller companies, the scheme will also see the development of 19 apprenticeship opportunities and £660k investment into our scholarship initiative. This is a win for house building, a win for the economy and a win for training.”
*In June 2016 Cabinet approved the setting up of a new Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) – essentially a procurement vehicle allowing Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) 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 first four contractors were formally appointed in March 2017 with new partners now applying to join too. All BMHT sites of 15 units or less will be offered to the DPS and selection will be by mini competition. Schemes above 15 units will be procured in line with the strategy outline in appendix 5 of the cabinet report.