Devolution and housing in Tees Valley

This page summarises the powers of the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority particularly in relation to housing, and sets out the latest position.

The Tees Valley Devolution Deal was announced in October 2015, granting Tees Valley new powers over transport, planning, skills and employment, and a £450m investment fund over 30 years. 

The Tees Valley Combined Authority was established in March 2016 and Conservative Ben Houchen was elected its first mayor in May 2017. The combined authority’s purpose is to drive economic growth and job creation, with specific powers for transport, infrastructure, skills, business investment, housing, culture and tourism.

The combined authority encompasses the local authority areas of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees. The Tees Valley Combined Authority’s cabinet comprises of Mayor Ben Houchen (its chair), along with the leaders of the local authorities and the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Chair.

Mayor Ben Houchen was elected on a manifesto which committed to

  • secure the future of the Durham Tees Valley Airport
  • supporting businesses to grow
  • delivering the housing the region needs
  • reforming the structure of Cleveland Police.

The Devolution Deal committed to:

  • a new, directly elected Mayor for Tees Valley to give a strong and powerful voice
  • a £450m 30-year investment fund to invest in local priorities
  • a consolidated transport budget, with a multi-year settlement to enable long-term investment
  • leadership of the review and redesign of local education, skills and employment support system (adult skills budget)
  • responsibility for devolved business support and working better with the Government to boost trade and investment
  • powers to develop land for economic growth and housing.

Since signing the deal, the Tees Valley Combined Authority’s most high profile undertaking has been founding the South Tees Development Corporation. It oversees an area of 4,500 acres, which includes the site of the former SSI steelworks in Redcar.

Mayor Ben Houchen has indicated in press interviews that a second Tees Valley devolution deal is forthcoming. He has suggested this could include additional funding to help the local area prepare for Brexit (a ‘prosperity fund’), additional funding for housing, and further devolution of the adult skills budget.  

Devolution of housing in Tees Valley

The devolution deal outlined new powers to accelerate the delivery of homes in the Tees Valley:

  • The Mayor will have the power to create Mayoral Development Corporations, which will support delivery on strategic sites in the local area.
  • The Tees Valley Combined Authority and Government will establish a housing and land board also known as a Land Commission. This board will oversee an integrated programme of housing delivery across the area and make best use of all public sector land and available funding.
  • A commitment from the Government to explore the potential to devolve housing financial transaction funding. 

Further devolution of housing powers

Since signing the devolution deal, Tees Valley Combined Authority has consulted upon and published a Strategic Economic Plan. The Plan identifies housing and regeneration as critical issues to support economic growth and place-making in the city-region.  

In 2017, Tees Valley Combined Authority proposed a new Housing Agreement with Government. This outlined a proposition for a new collaborative framework in which Government would make available over £100m of funding for an accelerated home building programme that would allow 2,500 affordable homes to be built by 2021. This proposal identified significant opportunities around partnership working to deliver regeneration, place-making and attract new investment. 

Discussions with the Government to agree a housing deal or ‘housing package’ similar to that the West of England, Greater Manchester, West Midlands and Oxfordshire are ongoing. It is thought that Tees Valley Combined Authority is seeking new freedoms to support investment in land remediation and infrastructure.

In the meantime, Tess Valley Combined Authority has implemented a new joint delivery plan with Homes England, housing associations and local partners. This joint delivery plan is a collaborative approach, seeing to embed a new strategic approach to accelerate development and unlock sites. Through this process, every housing site in the Tees Valley has been reviewed to identify where specific interventions are required to accelerate delivery. This review has also allowed the partnership to pinpoint opportunities to increase the supply of affordable homes.

Housing associations and their work in Tees Valley

Housing associations own almost 54,500 homes in the region, housing 19% of all households. In 2016/17, housing associations in Tees Valley built 500 new homes. Housing associations add an estimated £130m to the local economy and support an estimated 2,500 full-time jobs.

Housing associations in the Tees Valley, supported by the National Housing Federation, are committed to working with the mayor and the combined authority to end the housing crisis in the city region.

Housing associations in the city region have come together to form an informal Tees Valley housing association partnership, which meets regularly with key stakeholder including the mayor. A clear priority for local housing associations is raising the importance of investing in regeneration and place-making as well as delivering new homes. 

To discuss devolution and housing in Tees Valley, please email Monica Burns, External Affairs Manager for the region.

Back to the devolution hub.

This page was last updated April 2018.