FAQWhat is housing market renewal?
Housing market renewal is a programme of government investment that aims to create a better future for people living in areas blighted by large numbers of empty homes and very low house prices. North Staffordshire is one of nine areas chosen to receive funding. A multi-million pound programme of investment will be used to transform the North Staffordshire housing market, tackling the long-term causes of problems by improving the choice and quality of housing, improving the environment and tackling crime and anti-social behaviour. The programme also links with other regeneration programmes to improve job opportunities, transport links, parks and green spaces, schools and health facilities.
North Staffordshire is facing difficult times. Many local people are living in areas that are becoming unpopular, with homes standing empty and vandalised. Some homes – including privately owned houses – are not up to modern standards, more and more are being abandoned, house prices are below average and people are moving away from the area. The reality is that some areas have become unpopular because they do not provide a decent choice of housing – perhaps nearby industry has closed down, or services such as shops or health facilities or bus services are not as good as elsewhere. Transformational change remains necessary to the future well-being of North Staffordshire.
Our aim is to create communities where people want to live, not leave – and we have millions of pounds to spend. We want to offer a wide choice of good quality homes, to rent or buy, in areas that are safe and pleasant places to live. This will help to improve the general quality of life in North Staffordshire, boosting confidence and attracting new people to the area. At the same time, we will be working with other regeneration programmes to improve job opportunities, transport, parks and green spaces, schools and health facilities.
Between 2007 and 2008, we have:
- refurbished more than 6,150 properties
- developed strong partnerships with public and private sector organisations
- attracted nationally-renowned developers who are beginning to build a much better choice of new homes
- helped raise the quality of design in new homes
- cleared more than 1390 properties that were beyond repair
- helped residents move to sustainable neighbourhoods
- help created new and skilled jobs for local people
We are working in the same housing market as everyone else, and so we are bound to feel the effects of the national building slowdown. But with strong foundations built over the past six years, we are in a good position to deal with the economic downturn. RENEW North Staffordshire has never had a big reliance on new build in its programmes, and so is more sheltered from the economic storm than most.
We are, however, actively reviewing our programmes to reflect the changed environment and have been looking at a variety of ways of responding to the economic situation, to ensure North Staffordshire is ready for the market upturn when it comes. We are working hard to help bolster confidence in the local market – using our funding to help maintain momentum and support communities and our developer partners through these difficult times.
We are taking advantage of the opportunities that come with a market downturn, such as the chance to buy key sites at good prices, and to set up projects and partnerships on good terms. This means our money can go further and is making more of a difference.
An independent evaluation has recently found that around 85 per cent of new homes constructed in the area are a direct result of RENEW intervention. We have also attracted additional investment to the area, as well as providing strong strategic leadership.
We are confident that we can help the Government to respond positively to the challenges of the economic downturn, accelerating our programmes to help the economy get back on track.
Money will be invested in many parts of Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme, and Staffordshire Moorlands.
The areas to benefit include:
- City Waterside, Hanley South, North Shelton and Etruria (City Centre South)
- Middleport and Burslem
- Knutton and Cross Heath
- Cobridge (City Centre North West)
- Northwood (City Centre East)
- University Quarter (South Shelton)
- Galley’s Bank
- Fegg Hayes
- Burslem Park
- Birches Head
For more information on work in these neighbourhoods, please select an area.
The scale of the problems we face means that big changes are needed if things are to get better. In some areas, that may mean demolition – to make way for new, better quality homes that will meet the needs of local people and to help us create communities that are better suited to local needs.
All our plans are drawn up in consultation with people who live in the areas affected by the programme. If your house or street is affected by specific proposals, RENEW will write to you and visit you. Full information and support will be given to anyone who will be directly affected by our plans. More information on plans for specific areas of North Staffordshire is available on this website.
We will work hard to support you every step of the way. A range of options will be offered, including compensation, loans, grants and practical help to move. We will make renovated houses available nearby for you to move into, if you wish, and all the options will be explained to you in detail. Independent advice is also available from Residents’ Friends who work for the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.
Absolutely - nothing will be decided without the full involvement of local people, and we will be encouraging them to give us their views at every stage of the process. Our plans have been developed by leading experts, but we want to make sure they fully reflect local people’s hopes for the future.
By 2011, RENEW North Staffordshire expects to have invested £270 million. This in turn is expected to have attracted more than £600 million complementary investment from our public and private sector partners.
Improving housing will have a positive knock-on effect for the whole area – boosting the local economy by building confidence and attracting new people to the area. But we are not developing our plans in isolation - we are working with a wide range of partners to improve job opportunities, transport links, parks and green spaces, schools and health facilities.
Relatively small areas of empty and poor condition housing will affect the whole of North Staffordshire. They lead to high crime levels, diverting the police away from other duties, and they create a poor image for the whole region. If these areas can be made into thriving communities again it will benefit the whole of North Staffordshire by improving its reputation and confidence.