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First new Birmingham council homes in three decades handed over

15 Oct 10 The first new council homes to be built in Birmingham for three decades have been handed over. Affordable housing developer Lovell has completed work on four homes at the £2.75 million development in Pershore Road, Balsall Heath.

The homes are the first to be delivered by Birmingham City Council’s Municipal Housing Trust under its large-scale new-build housing programme. The scheme, which will see more than 550 new council homes built in the city, is being carried out with investment from Birmingham City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

The first four families received the keys to their new homes from Councillor John Lines, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for housing, and Lovell regional director David Gough at a specially-arranged ceremony. Mumtaz Begum, 32, was one of the first tenants to take possession of her four-bedroom house. She and her family are set to move from their current home in Acocks Green to their new property in the next few weeks.

“It all seems so unreal. I had given up hope of ever transferring to a bigger property,” she says. “I’m just so happy at the move. Previously there were six of us living in a three-bedroom property, and with two disabled children, it was a real struggle. This new home represents a fresh start for the whole family and we all can’t wait to move in.”

At Pershore Road, Lovell is building 33 new two-bedroom flats and two-, three- and four-bedroom houses. All of the homes will meet Level Four of the Code for Sustainable Homes – the system for measuring the environmental performance of new housing – helping them to achieve a 44 per cent improvement in energy efficiency against current building regulations. Properties will also meet the criteria of Secured by Design, an initiative promoting the inclusion of crime prevention measures in the design of new housing developments. Work at the development is due to be completed in February 2011.

In addition, Lovell is building 17 two-, three- and four-bedroom houses at Regent Road, Handsworth, under Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust’s new-build programme which are set to be finished in January 2011.

“We are delighted to have built and handed over the first municipal properties in Birmingham for over 30 yearsat Pershore Road and we hope that all of the families will be very happy in their new homes,” says Lovell regional director David Gough. “We’re extremely proud to be working alongside Birmingham City Council and the HCA on this landmark project. All of the houses and flats at the development are being built to a high specification and they will help to address the urgent need for energy-efficient affordable homes in the region.”

“I am proud to lead the revival, proud to have had the people to achieve the unimaginable – the revival of municipal responsibility through our very own Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust,” says Cllr John Lines, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for housing. “My sincere best wishes to Ms Begum and her family, and all our new tenants, in their new homes. I hope they are the first of many to enjoy the fruits of the hard work, dedication and commitment which has been given by this coalition council.”

“We have pledged to support Birmingham City Council’s aspirations to directly build more council homes, and so it is great to see the first residents move in and the development take shape,” says Paul Spooner, regional director for the Homes and Communities Agency, West Midlands. “It is crucial that we continue to provide more high-quality affordable homes, like at this development, to meet local demands and create thriving communities.

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