The Matrix Housing Partnership, a consortium of social landlords led by GSA, is celebrating the start on site at our Swan Lane development, West Bromwich, which will deliver the 2000th home through our strategic partnership with Homes England.
Homes England, a non-departmental public body which funds new affordable housing, awarded the Matrix Housing Partnership £84.5million in 2018 to support the delivery of 2,124 social and affordable homes across the Midlands and South West.
The Matrix Housing Partnership comprises of GSA, Black Country Housing Group, Citizen Housing Group, Pioneer Housing and Community Group, Rooftop Housing Association and Trident Housing Association.
In October 2021, the Matrix Housing Partnership also secured £185m from the UK Government’s Affordable Homes Programme to support a further 2,167 affordable homes which will start before April 2026.
A spokesperson from Homes England said: “Homes England are proud to support GSA in delivering their development at Swan Lane. The scheme will provide much needed affordable housing to the area, providing a variety of tenures and house types to reflect local needs.
“In addition, the start of the Swan Lane development will see the 2000th home being built as part of the ongoing relationship between Homes England and the Matrix Consortium through the Strategic Partnership. Demonstrating how partnership working can enable delivery even in the most challenging of times.”
The Swan Lane development, which is being built by MORRO Partnerships on our behalf, will provide 147 homes for affordable and social rent. The development will meet a variety of local housing need by providing 41 two and 24 three-bedroom houses and 17 one and 65 two bed apartments.
Construction work has now commenced at Swan Lane which marks the 2000th housing start for the Matrix Housing Partnership since attaining strategic partnership status from Homes England in 2018.
Ruth Cooke, our Chief Executive and Chair of Matrix Housing Partnership said: “It is an honour for the Matrix Housing Partnership to be recognised as a key strategic partner of Homes England. We have been collaborating for nearly 20 years and the construction start at Swan Lane demonstrates the Matrix Housing Partnership’s continued success in delivering affordable homes.
“It was fantastic to see shovels in the ground at Swan Lane. This exciting new scheme will deliver almost 150 much-needed affordable homes in West Bromwich.
“Swan Lane is a special development as it will deliver the 2000th affordable home by the Matrix Housing Partnership since we first secured strategic partner funding from Homes England in 2018. This milestone demonstrates that despite all the challenges in recent years for our sector, we can still pull together and deliver high quality homes for our communities.
“On behalf of all the Matrix Partners, I would like to thank Sandwell Council, Homes England and MORRO Partnerships for their invaluable support for this scheme.”
Chris Timmins, Managing Director at MORRO Partnerships said: “We’re delighted to have commenced work at Swan Lane, which is an important development providing much-needed affordable housing in the Sandwell area.
“As a developer, we’re committed to being better community and environment makers, so to be building so many affordable homes with sustainability at their core is incredibly rewarding.
“We’re looking forward to producing high-quality homes at Swan Lane and fostering a great new community in the region.”
The Swan Lane development is well served by public transport with the Black Lake Metro stop less than 100 metres away and several popular bus routes in operation close by. The development is also located close to the George Salter Academy, several supermarkets and other conveniences in both West Bromwich and Great Bridge town centres.
Sandwell Council are a key partner on the Swan Lane development who assisted with a successful bid for a £3.2million grant from the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership to support the delivery of the scheme.
Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and WMCA, Councillor Peter Hughes, said: “I am delighted that work is starting on this important development. Affordable housing such as this is key to tackle the housing crisis and homelessness and provide residents with a step onto the housing ladder.
“This shows Sandwell Council’s determination to achieve its Vision 2030 pledge to meet a full range of housing needs in attractive neighbourhoods and close to key transport routes.”
We have designed sustainability into the heart of the Swan Lane development with plans to plant plenty of trees and install electric vehicle charging points throughout the site. The development will contain generous amounts of open space complete with a pond to support local wildlife.
The new homes at Swan Lane will be constructed using prefabricated open-panel timber frames supplied by LoCaL Homes – our award winning, low carbon manufacturing facility based in Walsall.
Mike Doolan, Sales & Partnerships Manager at LoCaL Homes said: “We are thrilled to be a part of the transformation of the former Swan Lane gas works, creating much needed affordable housing for West Bromwich.
“By constructing the houses using LoCaL Homes’ Eco-100 timber frame panel system in a quality-controlled factory environment, the overall speed of construction will be accelerated thus resulting in quicker handovers and earlier occupancy.
“As the home’s fabric is made from a sustainable material it will capture more carbon than traditional methods of construction and will be much more thermally efficient. This will subsequently help with the running costs resulting in lower fuel bills for customers.”