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New homes for social rent get council go-ahead

Published: Tuesday, 29th June 2021

Birmingham City Council has given the green light for dozens of new homes for social rent to be built in the Sparkbrook & Balsall Heath East Ward.

Cabinet today approved the Full Business Case for a new development consisting of 61 new homes for social rent on Highgate Road.

The scheme, which will be delivered through the award-winning Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust, is set for completion in July 2024, and will be comprised of a range of property styles including two bed flats and a mixture of three, four, five and six bed houses.

Responding to the citywide need for more homes for social rent, the scheme has been doubled in size from 30 units to 61 and Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods Cllr Sharon Thompson said: “I am delighted that the Full Business Case for the Highgate Road development has now been approved by Cabinet. This scheme will be delivered through BMHT and demonstrates our commitment to building homes for social rent.

“It is crucial that we continue to be as ambitious as possible in our housing programmes, delivering good quality, sustainable houses for our citizens. By building more homes for social rent we will give families and individuals the opportunity to have a home of their own, outside of the private rental market.”

Leader of the council, Cllr Ian Ward added: "Almost half of Birmingham citizens are aged under 30 and one of the biggest challenges facing the city is providing good quality, sustainable houses for our children and grandchildren. So I'm proud that Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust is helping to meet that challenge.

"And there are additional benefits from this scheme, which will also mean good local jobs that pay the Real Living Wage, contracts for local businesses and a wide range of other community benefits for the people of Sparkbrook & Balsall Heath."

SOCIAL VALUE

The social value outcomes to the benefit of the Sparkbrook and Balsall Heath East Ward and the surrounding areas, tenderers will be required to address will include:

  • Local Employment
    • Employment and employability opportunities for the target groups particularly young people.
    • To provide a donation of £500 for every property built to support the Building Birmingham Scholarship to assist young professionals within the construction industry.
    • A strong local employment offer with the focus on the hardest to reach groups particularly focused on the residents in Sparkbrook and Balsall Heath East Ward and the surrounding area. Based on the value of the scheme, a minimum of 11 full time equivalent employment / apprenticeship opportunities is expected.
  • Buy Local
    • Spend to be, as practically as possible, with local, small and medium enterprises as well as social enterprises within a 30 mile radius of the scheme.
    • In recognition of the Council’s policy to support sheltered workshops and its commitment to promote such firms who employ People with Disabilities, the tender will include a requirement for tenderers to seek a quotation from Shelforce to ensure they have the opportunity to price for this Scheme.
  • Partners in Communities
    • Bidders and their supply chain will need to utilise their community reach and focus their outcomes on community cohesion with sensitivity to local demographics.
    • Working with schools to focus on increasing attainment and employment options for those students facing disadvantage.
    • A robust understanding and methodology for community engagement.
  • Good Employer
    • Provide good employment practices to increase the staff employability and quality of employment.
    • Demonstration of the provision of in-depth training for their employees in equality, diversity and inclusion.
    • Good practices around areas including collective representation, zero-hour contracts, whistle blowing policies.
    • The payment of the Real Living Wage down the supply chain is a mandatory requirement in accordance with the Council’s policy.
  • Green and Sustainable
    • Plans for a carbon natural position and what activities they are undertaking to achieve that additional to the specification including details relating to transport, recycling, materials used and offsetting.
  • Ethical Procurement
    • The outcomes sought under this theme relate to the treatment of subcontractors in terms of payment and training.
    • Evidence will be required as to how the bidder is ensuring that the materials used are sourced ethically.
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