Mayoral candidate pledges expansion in homebuilding

Labour’s West Midlands Mayor candidate pledges to build 3,000 new affordable homes per year.

On a visit to see the redevelopment of the old Dudley Guest Hospital site, Labour’s candidate for West Midlands Mayor, Siôn Simon, pledged to build 3,000 new affordable homes per year if elected as the first West Midlands Mayor in May.

On the visit to the site, now known as Butler’s Crescent Siôn was joined by local MP and Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson for a meeting with directors from Wates Living Space who are redeveloping the old hospital site.

The scheme on the site will see the development of 157 new homes by Wates Living Space – comprising of new builds and refurbished apartments within the old hospital building itself. Of the 157 units, 39 will be affordable homes and those affordable homes will be the first on the site to be ready – with people able to move in from March next year.

Siôn Simon said: “It was great to see this development today in Dudley. This is an historic site and many people in Dudley will remember the old Guest Hospital.

“The developers have taken a disused and derelict site and are bringing it back to life by building new high-quality homes. It really is fantastic news that so much of the new housing on the site will be affordable and that is exactly the sort of thing we need to see more of across the West Midlands.

“Dudley Council are setting a great example at Butler’s Crescent and if I am elected as West Midlands Mayor in May I will double the affordable new social housing being built, that’s 3,000 new affordable homes to rent built every year in the West Midlands.

“What I’m saying on housing is simple. More council houses. More and better quality homes across the board. And affordable means affordable – that is what I will deliver as West Midlands Mayor – for Dudley, but also across the Black Country, Coventry, Birmingham and Solihull”.

West Bromwich East MP Tom Watson, Labour’s Deputy Leader, said: “Siôn’s commitment to truly affordable housing is front and centre of his offer to the people of the West Midlands.

“He has been clear that as a Labour Mayor in the West Midlands he would double the number of genuinely affordable homes across the region. Under this Tory Government there is a housing crisis. And affordable homes are becoming a thing of the past, especially for young people in the West Midlands who want to stand on their own two feet.

“There is a desperate need for affordable homes and that means we need to build new council houses. That is exactly what we have seen here today in Dudley. A developer that is working in close partnership with a Labour-run council to get new council houses built as part of a business model that works. It shows it can be done, because it’s happening here in Dudley. Siôn, as Labour Mayor, would deliver new affordable homes right across the West Midlands.

“To those who may still be unsure about what a Mayor will do for them in the West Midlands I say this: as Labour Mayor Siôn will reclaim power from Westminster and bring funding back to the region. He will deliver positive change for the people of the West Midlands.”