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Do Affordable Housing Targets Mean Anything In Birmingham?

Digbeth High Street

A 48-storey residential tower block has won approval from Birmingham City Council planners despite a failure to meet the guidelines on the provision of affordable housing.

Although the council target is for 35% of housing units in a scheme to be affordable, the 454-unit Gallagher Developments tower on the site of the former Irish Centre, Digbeth, includes just 14. This amounts to 3% of the total units.

The development was approved by councillors by seven votes to one, although some of those in the majority expressed disappointment with the affordable housing outcome, Business Desk reported.

Digbeth skyscraper development has been dogged by controversy, with both affordable housing and the impact on the area's historic environment attracting criticism.

Affordable housing targets have been missed, often significantly, for several years. As long ago as 2018 data showed that despite a boom in city centre apartments, Birmingham City Council was achieving just 10% affordable housing, far short of its target of making 35% of new development affordable.