Metro Mayors call for housing funding allocation review
Five of England’s Metro Mayors have met in at a summit in Birmingham to discuss the way in which funding for new housing is being allocated.
The Mayors together signed a letter, calling on the Prime Minister to review the funding allocations and consider further investment and devolution for their city regions. The summit was hosted by Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, the University of Birmingham and the Local Government Association.
The letter highlights the specific needs of their regions, such as the need to regenerate brownfields sites and improve the viability of developments where land values are lower than in London and the South East.
The Mayors, who are on both sides of the political coin, agree that the Government needs to review the funding formulae used to allocate housing investment, ensuring that city-regions outside London and the South East do not lose out. The letter argues that investment in housing supply, and skills and innovation in the construction industry, will accelerate economic growth and the re-balancing of the UK economy.
This intervention comes at a crucial time for many of the city-regions, as they are negotiating “Housing Deals” with the Government, where regions commit to building more homes in return for infrastructure and housing funding.
Mr Street said: “As Metro Mayors, we are in a unique position to contribute to solving the housing challenge for Government.
“Because we each represent and work with several local authorities, we can provide the coordination and direction to accelerate the building of homes in our respective areas.
“But that requires Government to provide the investment and powers so that we can deliver the new homes our regions and the country need.”
Councillor Sean Coughlan, Leader of Walsall Council and Lead on Housing & Land for the West Midlands Combined Authority said: “This region has a large and growing population and there is an urgent demand for new homes.
“The WMCA Land Delivery Action Plan will channel infrastructure investment into unlocking more land for development and speed up the building of new homes and commercial developments, but if we are to achieve this it is important that this region gets a fair funding formula.
“Doing so means we can accelerate development in key growth areas and a range of initiatives that will enable us to work more effectively with developers and enable sites to be developed more quickly.”
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