Homes England recently set out how they intend to improve housing affordability through a new five-year Strategic Plan – helping more people access better homes in areas where they are needed most. Buildingspecifier takes a look:
The government plan, which runs up to 2022/23, outlines an ambitious new mission and the steps the national housing agency will take, in partnership with all parts of the housing industry sector, to respond to the long-term housing challenges facing the country.
The new plan sets out far-reaching delivery objectives:
- Unlock public and private land where the market will not, to get more homes built where they are needed
- Ensure a range of investment products are available to support housebuilding and infrastructure, including more affordable housing and homes for rent, where the market is not acting
- Improve construction productivity
- Create a more resilient and competitive market by supporting smaller builders and new entrants, and promoting better design and higher quality homes
- Offer expert support for priority locations, helping to create and deliver more ambitious plans to get more homes built
- Effectively deliver home ownership products, providing an industry standard service to consumers
Speaking about the updated plans, Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said “This government is committed to delivering 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s and help more people get on the housing ladder. Homes England is at the heart of these plans.
“I welcome their comprehensive vision that sets out how through their powers and expertise they will maximise Government investment to deliver the homes communities need.”
Sir Edward Lister, Homes England Chairman, added “Ultimately, we need to disrupt the housing market. Homes England plans to be bold, creative and think big. We hope the whole of the housing sector – big and small, up and down the country – will join us for the next five years and beyond.”
Nick Walkley, Homes England Chief Executive, concluded “The new Homes England is all about making homes happen – and our new 5-year plan sets out our ambitious new approach. We are committing to boosting housing supply, productivity, innovation, quality, skills and modern methods of construction to help make a more diverse and resilient market. In return, we are calling for partners and the wider industry who share our ambition to challenge traditional norms and build better homes faster.”
The five-year Strategic Plan follows the Budget announcement of seven more strategic partnerships with housing associations, which will deliver an additional 13,475 affordable homes by March 2022.
The new partnerships will secure a total of £653m in funding from the Affordable Homes Programme, delivered through Homes England, including homes for social rent in areas of high affordability pressures.
This is in addition to the first eight strategic partnership deals announced in early July, bringing the total number of additional affordable homes that will be delivered to 27,755.