Supplementary memorandum by Advantage
West Midlands (ERF 16(f))
Thank you for your letter of 22 May 2002 requesting
a summary of Advantage West Midlands' response concerning the
need for a housing gap funding scheme and our views on the role
of housing in the Regional Economic Strategy. I apologise for
missing your deadline of 6 June and I hope it is not too late
for you to consider our submission.
RDAs do not have any direct responsibility for
housing, but we act as a facilitator role, for example to assemble
land and then to reclaim and service it.
The former Partnership Investment Programme
(PIP) enabled the Agency to facilitate housing as part of mixed
use developments. The replacement scheme has effectively curtailed
Where housing is a component of a mixed scheme,
it is not eligible for replacement PIP grant assistance. It is
recognised that housing, in many cases, can be a key driver in
a comprehensive approach to regeneration, particularly area-based
Advantage West Midlands has continued to support
housing related activities under its legacy regeneration programmes
eg SRB and more recently the holistic Camp Hill Urban Village
Programme in Nuneaton, Warwickshire with The Prince's Foundation
and County and Borough Councils.
It is recognised that housing investment and
provision underpins and supports economic growth and regeneration.
A gap funding scheme under the proposed new European Regeneration
Framework could promote the Government's urban renaissance agenda
and support holistic regeneration provided that the new framework
clarifies the State Aid issues and equips the Government, RDAs
and other partners with sufficient flexibility to determine its
programmes for economic and physical regeneration.
Overall the proposal is welcomed and could assist
new housing investment in areas of market failure in the West
Midlands and enable better strategic integration of initiatives.
Levering in private sector investment into areas of market failure
would have the added benefit of maximising the impact from Public
Advantage West Midlands is working with the
Regional Housing Partnership to develop a Regional Housing Strategy
and its role in regenerating communities in the West Midlands.
Whilst our focus is primarily economic, it is recognised that
housing is a key component which underpins and supports economic
growth, as stated above.
Supporting other Agencies to provide investment
into housing has resulted in the Housing Corporation aligning
their Regional Investment Strategy with the Agency's Regeneration
The Agency supports urban regeneration projects
which help to deliver housing on derelict land or through the
reuse of vacant buildings.
The Agency is a partner in the Housing Market
Renewal Area pilot programmes in the West Midlands and will continue
to support the development of the prospectus to ensure that the
economic components necessary for the creation of sustainable
communities will be integrated within the investment in housing