City of Wolverhampton residents and stakeholders are being invited to have their say on the proposed priorities and outcomes for the city’s new housing and homelessness prevention strategies.

A collaborative approach has informed the development of the strategies to meet future housing and accommodation needs in the city.

They will help link up new and emerging developments within the city’s housing offer to create communities that have access to good quality, safe and healthy homes.

The revised housing strategy will ensure there continues to be a supply of housing and housing services to meet the needs and aspirations of the city’s current and future residents.

The council’s Housing Development Team has been restructured and appropriately resourced to establish a housing development pipeline and access to Homes England and West Midlands Combined Authority funding. 
Through the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) the council will be investing more than £100 million over the next 5 years to deliver around 400 new homes. 

Under the current housing strategy, hundreds of new council homes have been developed; the council’s own housing company, WV Living, has delivered new developments across the city; residents have moved into the first new council homes at Heath Town, while the high rise blocks and estate have also seen major transformation; a retrofit programme of £46 million started in May last year, which will see improvements made to 414 non-traditional build homes across the city; around £141 million is also being invested to future proof and improve high rise homes with money for fire safety, new sprinkler systems, infrastructure and energy efficiency; and support from residents has been secured for further estate redevelopment at New Park Village.

The revised homelessness prevention strategy sets out the steps the city needs to take to help tackle homelessness and ensure advice, support and accommodation is available and accessible to everyone who needs it.

The council is looking to build on its collaboration with partners under the current homelessness strategy, which has achieved significant outcomes for people in need. This includes the opening of Peter Bilson House, which provides 34 units of accommodation, including 6 accessible apartments, offering bespoke, multi agency support for vulnerable people; 52 people who were, or who have a history of rough sleeping housed through the Housing First Model; rough sleeping reduced by 68% since 2018; the council’s migration team sourcing over 100 properties in the private sector to prevent homelessness to those households granted refugee status; and the emergence of ‘Call us First’ - a preventative and targeted approach which provides support and early intervention to landlords and tenants to reduce the likelihood of homelessness, and keep people in their homes.

Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We are proud of what we have achieved to create a better housing offer and service for people living in our city.

“Through this public consultation we are now seeking views to ensure our housing strategy and homelessness prevention strategy address the challenges being experienced by residents and stakeholders in our city.

“It is important we have robust delivery plans to accelerate housing development that will support inclusive economic growth and focus on people and our plans to support our residents and create good homes in well connected neighbourhoods.

“We also recognise that no one organisation can end or prevent homelessness alone; the priorities, objectives and outcomes contained within that strategy can only be achieved through partnership and collaboration across organisations. 

“Those opportunities do not just lie with specialist homelessness services. Everyone has a part to play, and everyone can make an impact including schools, health visitors, social care, welfare rights, mental health services, registered housing providers, GPs and many others.

“Overall, we are committed to enhancing the health and wellbeing of the people who live and work in the City of Wolverhampton.”

To take part in the Housing Strategy consultation, please visit Draft Housing Strategy 2024.

To take part in the Homelessness Prevention Strategy consultation, please visit Homelessness Prevention Strategy 2024.

Paper response forms are available from the council’s Customer Services Reception at the Civic Centre, St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton, WV1 1SH, and associated tenant management organisation offices.

Both surveys close on Sunday 1 September, 2024.