Sandwell Community Keyworkers Affordable Housing Scheme

In 2019 Catalyst Mutual CIC working with Your Trust Charity (Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust), secured Homes England Community Housing Fund grant to complete feasibility work and obtain planning permission to develop affordable housing for Keyworkers across Sandwell.

Latest Update!

We are delighted to announce that a significant milestone in the development of 100% Affordable Housing for Keyworkers in Sandwell has been achieved with planning permission being granted by Sandwell Council on 11th May 2021. Read the full press release here.

Our plan

The land available for development is 7000 square metres (0.7 hectares) and is owned by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust. Based on the project initial proposal and design work the plan is to build a mixed development consisting of 110 apartments and 12 town houses with car parking and green spaces, creating mixed communities of keyworkers for all household types and ages.

The overarching principles is for the affordable housing design to benefit occupiers and to create a new community and to meet the following principles:

  • Fit for purpose: homes that reflect modern lifestyles and meet the current needs of keyworkers
  • Future Proof: homes that is robust but flexible with the ability to adapt to the changing needs of all potential keyworkers’ residents
  • Community: homes that respect and enhance the character of the local area and create mixed communities where keyworkers want to live.
  • Choice: homes that provide a range of sizes and types to reflect keyworkers needs and safe place to live
  • Good Management: homes that enable better resident involvement in its management and future maintenance.

Who is it for?

This is a keyworker scheme for Sandwell that will offer affordable homes to those who need to be close to their point of work. The project could provide an opportunity for newcomers to this area and country who have been attracted here to work within one of the identified services. The project is an opportunity for those in lower paid positions to access the housing market. It can also assist those who are new to their chosen careers and have not yet realised their earning potential.

The target keyworkers’ group will be:

  • Clinical NHS Staff
  • NHS Paramedics
  • Teachers
  • Nursery Nurses
  • Police Officers
  • Firefighters
  • Other Keyworkers

The criteria for those who are eligible will be determined by the stakeholders and will form part of the lettings policy that will be developed in due course including the mechanisms to stimulate residents’ participation in design and management phases.

Housing Plans

Key features

Affordable Housing
  • Traditionally defined as 20% below market value.
  • The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) now have a new definition based on local people paying no more than 35% of their average gross earning on mortgages or rent.
  • Linking affordable housing to real income of people in the area, will benefit keyworkers across West Midlands.
Public Sector Strategic Stakeholders
  • Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust.
  • West Midlands Police Service.
  • West Midlands Fire Service.
  • West Midlands Ambulance Service.
  • Local Authority.
  • NHS Staff.
  • Police Officers and PCSO.
  • Fire Fighters.
  • Teachers & Nursery Nurses
  • Ambulance Paramedics.
Number and Types of Tenure

12 Houses and 109 Appartments for:

  • Rent.
  • Shared Ownership.
Quality and Flexible Design to Reflect Modern Living
  • Outdoor spaces - Communal Garden for residents.
  • Enclosed balconies for the apartments.
  • Laundry facility on-site with provision for residents to install their own washing machine within their flat also.
  • A separate residents only access.
  • Main Residential entrance with Lift access to all floors.
Renewable Energy
  • With Combine Heat Power (CHP) and Solar PV.
  • High Efficiency boilers and High Efficiency lighting has been incorporated to meet sustainable design.
  • Low Energy running costs.
Car Parking
  • Both Onsite and Offsite parking will be available.
  • Allocated parking space.
  • Cycle storage provision.
Community / Communal areas and Facilities
  • Ground floor Commercial Units.
  • Retail Shop.
  • Community / Meeting and Event Rooms.
  • Nursery & Creche.
Creating New, Sustainable Community
  • Residents interact and live more engaged lives with power to change their environment.
  • Strong sense of belonging and comradeship.
  • Providing mutual support in a thriving and active way.
Inclusive Governance, Stewardship & Management
  • Assets will be managed on behalf of beneficiary and for public benefit.
  • Providing stability that allows innovation through low rent and affordability in perpetuity.
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