“West Midlands Combined Authority to redefine ‘affordable housing’ “

“The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has said it wants to redefine ‘affordable’ housing as [currently] the average house price in the region is seven times higher than the average annual salary.

The WMCA’s Housing and Land Delivery Board this week agreed an approach to define affordable housing “in a more localised and bespoke way”.

This will involve combining the national definition with specific local weighting and criteria within the WMCA.

A report prepared for the board’s meeting said the recommended approach to defining affordability in the West Midlands was one “that reflects the range of housing needs and ambitions across the region, ensures compliance with statutory local plans and provides investor and developer certainty”.

Local councils, the private sector and housing associations across the West Midlands were involved in shaping this work.

The report added: “As housing supply is a multi-dimensional policy area, we cannot find clear evidence that a definition on its own will unlock significant new affordable supply. But as part of the coherent comprehensive approach to affordable housing and homelessness, a regional definition can send a strong message of our commitment to address well evidenced and clear housing affordability and supply issues.”