Metro Mayors demand Government allocate more cash for housing

Thousands of new homes could be built in England’s main urban centres if the Government allocates greater funding to areas such as the West Midlands and Greater Manchester, Metro Mayors for the areas have said.

Four of England’s Metro Mayors have written to Prime Minister Theresa May calling on a greater share of housing funds to be allocated to their areas.

Meeting in Birmingham, the four mayors, who include Andy Street and Andy Burnham, have said that if cash is allocated to the urban areas then former industrial sites and other brownfield plots could be cleaned up and redeveloped for housing.

This would ease the pressure on housing demand in the areas and improve the economies of the regions.

However, there are concerns that funding is being diverted to the leafier areas of the country, such as the South East where it is more profitable for housing developers to construct new developments.

Earlier this month, the West Midlands was allocated almost £58m to help kickstart new housing and regeneration schemes.

The £57.7m committed to the region was part of the government’s latest £866m investment through the £5bn Housing Infrastructure Fund.

However, while a portion was allocated to Coventry and Stoke-on-Trent, the funding largely ignored the large urban areas and there are concerns this has been replicated across the country.

The mayors say in their letter that housing supply remains a challenge, with the pressure on resources likely to increase unless more new homes are built.

They say more investment in infrastructure and public services is needed to unlock housing developments and to invest in the regeneration of brownfield sites.