West Yorkshire Housing Partnership reaches major milestone

First Published: 14/01/2022

The Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, met with Johnnie Johnson Housing and other members of the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership to publish their first annual report. The report highlights the important work being done to put housing front and centre across the region.

We’ve been proud members of the partnership since it was formed in 2020. The group was created to work with the first directly elected mayor, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and local authorities to achieve five integrated ambitions that ensure that the need for affordable homes in West Yorkshire is met and that housing is a priority for the region following the devolution deal agreed with the Government.

The report comes as the housing sector continues to face challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Despite this, the partnership secured over 2000 affordable homes for West Yorkshire last year and has already identified a collective development pipeline which will see them deliver over 5000 new homes over the next two years.

Building new homes is one of the key ambitions of the partnership, alongside tackling the climate emergency, regenerating local areas, connecting people to economic opportunity, and supporting health, care and homelessness.

The report also highlights the partnerships work to tackle the climate emergency.

Alongside the need to build more affordable homes, decarbonisation is one the biggest challenges facing the housing sector, with over one-third of the energy supply in West Yorkshire being used in people’s homes. The past twelve months have seen the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership collate data on the current energy efficiency of their properties which has led to a joint bid to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

Regeneration is also high up on the agenda for the partnership, making good use of brownfield sites. Members have so far delivered over 450 homes on derelict areas across West Yorkshire. This includes the regeneration of the former ironworks in Boothtown, Halifax, creating 46 new homes, the construction of over 100 affordable family homes on the Beech Hill estate, also in Halifax and 266 homes on brownfield sites that Leeds City Council are delivering across the district with a construction value of £57.5m

Helen Lennon, Chair of the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership said:

“When the partnership formed a year ago, we pledged to work with the directly elected mayor, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and local authorities to achieve five integrated ambitions that put affordable and sustainable housing high on the agenda following the devolution deal agreed with the Government in March 2020.

“We’ve already secured over 2000 affordable homes for West Yorkshire, and we have plans in place to deliver thousands more over the current mayoral term.

“We’re going to build on the strong foundations we’ve put in place over the last year, and we look forward to continuing to work with the mayor to help her achieve her pledges. We’ll also continue to harness the benefits from our longstanding working relationships with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Local Authorities to deliver even more.

“It’s going to be a busy year, but we’re really excited at the energy and commitment that has developed since the partnership was formed. We’ll continue to place housing front and centre in the plans for West Yorkshire.”

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire said:

“As someone who grew up in a council flat in Birstall, I understand the value of a safe, affordable and secure home. That’s why I’m committed to delivering 5000 affordable and sustainable homes over my mayoral term.

“The report launched today highlights all the fantastic work being done by the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership and I’m really proud to support their ambitious and much-needed work. By working together, we can ensure the housing sector meets the needs of the people of West Yorkshire; and I look forward to developing an inclusive housing strategy that works for everyone across our region.”

Over the next year, the partnership will continue to work with the Local Authority Directors of Development to identify a shared development pipeline. They also plan to look at ways that combine their skills, expertise and purchasing power to invest in solar PV and battery storage technology to help make West Yorkshire the green capital of the UK.

View the full report: West Yorkshire Housing Partnership Report 2020-2021