Housing partners launch manifesto at mayoral hustings

An alliance of housing associations in the West Midlands has launched its own manifesto at a hustings organised for the region’s mayoral election candidates.

The West Midlands Housing Association Partnership (WMHAP) held ahead of the local government and regional elections on 2 May. The manifesto sets out the partnership’s key asks for housing.

At the event, WMHAP’s vice chair – and chief executive of housing association Green Square Accord (GSA) – Ruth Cooke launched the document, and outlined its case in front of a housing sector audience, and the mayoral candidates.

The manifesto represents a collective call for action to ensure everyone has access to safe, good quality and warm homes.

Fuel for thought, as the hustings saw candidates go head-to-head in a live debate focused on housing issues in the region.

Cooke said “Our manifesto outlines what we as regional anchor institutions can do to realise the opportunities that stand before us as a collective.

“We, as a region, have the opportunity over the next four years to increase the amount of truly affordable homes built in our region, create places where people not just want to live and stay but that they want to invest in, and lead the country in the retrofitting of older homes with modern green technology.”

WMHAP is made up of 17 social landlords that collectively own and manage 200,000 homes for around one million people in the West Midlands; employ 7,000 local people; and contribute over £1.2bn to the regional economy.

In their manifesto, the housing providers are calling for collaboration with the West Midlands mayor and the combined authority to:

  • Find solutions to unlock additional supply
  • Regenerate brownfield sites into much needed homes
  • Create the right environment to attract external funding to the region
  • Create a partnership anchored in ‘roots’ and ‘place’
  • Open new routes to partnership and funding
  • Create “coherence” across the region and a level playing field between the constituent local authorities
  • “Design out” homelessness in the region

Cooke added:“If we miss this opportunity and fall behind it will not just be our tenants who suffer, it will be our region too. To realise these opportunities we need to invest in the building skills of the future, invest in new tenant facing technologies and find ways to make 100 year old homes fit for the next century.”

The manifesto is backed by the following housing providers: Black Country Housing Group, Bournville Village Trust, Bromford, GSA, Lench’s Trust, Midland Heart, Nehemiah United Church Housing Association, Orbit Group, The Pioneer Group, Platform Housing Group, Rooftop Housing Group, Stonewater, St Basils, Trident Group, whg ,The Wrekin Housing Group, Centre for the New Midlands

Main image: West Midlands mayoral candidates at the WMHAP hustings event

Read next: Charities launch campaign to end scourge of unhealthy homes

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