Black Country gains £22m boost to deliver affordable homes

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A £22m government grant will aid in the delivery of hundreds of affordable homes across the Black Country for the next four years

Hundreds of affordable homes will be built across the Black Country due to a new government grant. The £22m investment was won by whg, one of the region’s largest housing providers.

The firm acts across 11 local authority areas in the Black Country and South Staffordshire, and has housed more than 40,000 people in some 20,000 homes. whg has delivered 2,000 homes in the past four years.

This latest grant money will be used to build 751 homes between now and 2021, with around 200 properties to be located in the Black Country. The rest will be situated in Worcestershire, Staffordshire, and Shropshire.

Construction will start in the spring

The company said the first homes will be built in Wallsall, where the group is based, and South Staffordshire. Work will start in April, with 188 homes built across the four areas during the first two years.

Speaking to the Express & Star, whg’s director of development Mark Tranter said: “We are delighted that we have been successful in this bid which will see more high-quality affordable properties built in the Midlands.

“The successful outcome of our bid has enabled us to secure funding for a significant proportion of our future new build growth programme, extend the range of our new housing offer and expand our Shared Ownership portfolio.

“The funding will also include rent to buy homes, which will allow our customers to rent a property whilst saving for a deposit to buy their first home.

“We are working with high quality developers to get people into brand new homes at affordable prices.”

Thousands on housing waiting lists

Wolverhampton, which is among the areas expected to see new homes delivered, will undoubtedly welcome the news. The area currently has more than 8,309 people on the housing waiting list with around 70 properties available. Furthermore the city has failed to deliver the number of homes needed, with only 1,042 affordable properties built in Wolverhampton between 2006 and 2014.

Walsall, one of the areas to get the first wave of homes built, is also in a similar predicament, with more than 8,600 people waiting for a home.

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