‘Look out Vienna, Here Come the Brummies’

On Monday 5 November David Mullins, Emeritus Professor of Housing Policy presented a 36 page report of the July Hope for Housing Conference to the Steering Group of Birmingham Community Homes and to Councillor Karen McCarthy, Chair of Planning at Birmingham City Council.

The presentation took place at Winterbourne House  which 100 years ago was home to John Nettlefold, pioneer planner and first Chair of Housing of Birmingham City Council.

The report is intended to provide a resource for people working to promote collaboration, community empowerment and community benefit through housing. It provides an accessible source of information on the national policy context, international models and a local vision for Birmingham Community Homes, the new enabling body set up to provide practical support to multiply community-led housing in Birmingham. It documents practitioner discussion of Dr Richard Lang’s models of co-operative capital  connecting local projects to resources via hubs and multi-level support. It provides great examples of how existing housing can be community-led too. It includes participant feedback and updates on the exciting changes happening in the Midlands since the conference.

Presenting the report David highlighted the importance of timing and a positive funding and policy context and how innovations such as the Vienna developer competition can transform things by incentivising community participation in new settlements. The report’s recommendations were welcomed by Councillor McCarthy and officers from Birmingham City Council who are working with Birmingham Community Homes to realise Hope for Housing. While tailored to Birmingham the report provides a useful resource within the growing literature on promoting community led housing (a literature which is also summarised). As one conference speaker put it ‘Look out Vienna, here come the Brummies’.

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