City of Wolverhampton Council is set to invest more than £118million in new homes over the next five years. A report going before the Council’s Cabinet next Wednesday (January 19) will ask for approval through the Housing Revenue Account Business Plan to fund development schemes across the city.
As well as £118.7million set aside for new-build development, the Capital Programme for 2022/2023 to 2026/27 also includes £42.6million for estate remodelling, such as New Park Village, £50.4million to complete the refurbishment of the Heath Town estate, and £79.8million for improvements to high-rise estates such as fire safety, infrastructure replacement, retrofitting of sprinklers and external works.
Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing, said: “This report demonstrates the Council’s continued commitment to balancing the provision of new homes for rent, while continuing to invest in better and safer homes programmes for the existing housing and improving and redeveloping housing estates across the city.
“We have major plans on site or planned across Wolverhampton, providing great places to live and building communities where everyone has the chance to benefit from new opportunities. The Housing Revenue Account Business Plan outlines hundreds of millions of pounds over the next five years and it will be monitored quarterly and reviewed annually to ensure the plan remains robust and we deliver on the proposals.”
New housing development is already underway at Heath Town estate, with more than 200 homes planned. Other small sites across the city are also being identified for Council homes, in addition to WV Living’s building programme. The refurbishment programme at Heath Town estate - managed by Wolverhampton Homes - entered its second phase in September, which will see the improvement of eight tower blocks.
This work includes the improvement of fire safety features within the blocks and the installation of sprinkler systems, as well as a new energy centre and more efficient heating systems for residents in response to new legislation and the Council’s decarbonisation commitments. High-rise blocks across the city will see the installation of external wall insulation, upgrades to balconies and windows, the renewal of mechanical and electrical infrastructure, improvements to fire safety and the retrofitting of sprinklers.
A detailed Asset Management Strategy is being prepared to determine how many of the Council’s 4,100 non-traditional-built homes may need replacing. This work will be done in consultation with local communities as it progresses.
The Housing Revenue Account Business Plan also includes £4.5million for the refurbishment of Bond House, a Council owned city centre commercial building that will be converted into 34 units of supported accommodation and services for single people with a history of rough sleeping and homelessness. The proposals will be discussed at Cabinet on Wednesday, January 19 before going forward to Full Council.