The organisation tasked by the Government to speed up home building in England has set out how it will improve housing affordability through a new five year strategic plan.
National housing agency Homes England said that the plan, which will run up to 2022/2023, aims to help more people access better homes in areas where they are needed most in partnership with all parts of the housing industry.
The new plan sets out far reaching delivery objectives including unlocking public and private land where the market will not, to get more homes built where they are needed and improve construction productivity.
It will also ensure that a range of investment products are available to support house building and infrastructure, including more affordable housing and homes for rent, where the market is not acting.
The aim is to create a more resilient and competitive market by supporting smaller builders and new entrants, and promoting better design and higher quality homes as well as offering expert support for priority locations, helping to create and deliver more ambitious plans to get more homes built.
‘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,’ said Sir Edward Lister, Homes England chairman.
According to Nick Walkley, Homes England chief executive, significant progress is already being made with high profile deals in recent months including major land acquisitions in Sussex and Plymouth, a £1 billion lending alliance with Barclays to support smaller builders; a new joint venture with Kier’s residential arm and infrastructure led developments at Ebbsfleet and Northstowe.
‘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,’ he said.
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 £653 million 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.
Homes England has a remit to adopt a more commercial approach to acquiring, preparing, managing and developing land in areas of high demand and the strategic plan sets out how it will use these powers together with their expertise and significant Government investment to drive forward key programmes and play a major role in making the housing market work for everyone.
‘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,’ said Secretary of State for Housing James Brokenshire.
‘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,’ he added.