Midlands’ partnership hosts key West Midlands consultation event with Housing Minister

7 November 2017

Midlands’ partnership hosts key West Midlands consultation event with Housing Minister

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A leading Midlands’ housing partnership recently hosted a key consultation event at a newly-built Academy school on behalf of the Housing Minister.

Alok Sharma, the Minister of State for Housing and Planning, and Member of Parliament for Reading West, has been undertaking a series of engagement events across the country in order to meet social housing tenants face to face and engage in discussions about housing such as safety, engagement with landlords and how services are delivered.

The Matrix Housing Partnership was asked to organise the West Midlands event and the feedback from the discussions will assist in the collation of evidence for the  Social Housing Green Paper as the nationwide conversation on housing has gathered pace and is a key focus for government.

Held at the new, state-of-the-art Greenwood Academy in Castle Vale, Birmingham, the event saw Mr Sharma address more than 140 tenants from around 30 housing associations, local authorities, ALMOs and cooperatives from across the region including those from the West Midlands Housing Association Partnership. He also took part in topic-based conversations with the tenants in smaller facilitated groups in order to hear more detailed discussions and get a better understanding of tenants’ ideas.

Earlier in the day, Mr Sharma had visited Accord’s LoCaL Homes factory in Walsall, a closed panel timber frame manufacturing hub offering a solution to the housing crisis as well as visiting some of the tenants living in homes manufactured at the factory. He also attended a round-table meeting of 30 housing chiefs from across the Midlands, discussing issues around housing growth and innovation.

Dr. Chris Handy, Chair of the Matrix Housing Partnership Strategy Group, said:

“It has been a great opportunity to facilitate the Housing Minister’s consultation event here in the West Midlands. I am delighted that Alok Sharma recognises the importance of gathering views from tenants and housing professionals and that this vital information is taken forward into sustainable and realistic government policy.

He added:

“The Matrix Housing Partnership has a strong track record of building high-quality homes that regenerate neighborhoods and create jobs and we are proud to be playing our part in getting Britain building.”

The Matrix Housing Partnership is made up of Accord, as lead partner, Rooftop, Trent & Dove, Trident Group, WATMOS and The Pioneer Group. The partnership will build 664 new homes in Birmingham, Redditch, the Black Country, Staffordshire, and Worcestershire, in addition to 1,200 new homes that the partnership is already building.

Housing and Planning Minister Alok Sharma said: “It has been a pleasure to be here today at Matrix, where I’ve had the opportunity to hear first-hand from tenants about their experiences of living in social housing.

“This government is committed to addressing the issues and concerns related to social housing. That’s why we have launched a wide-ranging review of the issues facing the sector, including quality safety and the voice of tenants.”

For more information about the Matrix Housing Partnership go to matrixhousing.org.uk