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A HAPPY NEW YEAR FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND REGENERATION? - BY MICHAEL HILL

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07/01/2014

 

What are the prospects for the delivery of new, affordable homes and housing regeneration? Two publications late last year have very significant implications for those of us working in London and the South East and provide grounds for optimism.

A Happy New Year for affordable housing and regeneration? - by Michael Hill

The first publication was the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, where three items caught my eye. They were: the expectation that local authorities will use joint ventures to maximise the supply of affordable housing; the commitment to support the regeneration of existing housing estates; and the intention to launch a review of the role local authorities can play in supporting overall housing supply.

The second publication was the Mayor of London’s draft Housing Strategy, which is currently out to consultation. The problem of housing supply across all tenures is of course acute but there is much to welcome in the Strategy, notably the commitment to improve existing housing estates and to support the Private Rented Sector (PRS) sector.

Perhaps less convincing is the emphasis on very large sites such as Barking Reach to deliver outright sale and PRS homes. The fact is that need applies right across London  and, quite apart from the risk of saturating demand in some of these very large sites through over-supply, we need to find solutions that provide new homes throughout London.

However, there is a common and very encouraging theme in both publications and that is the importance of local authorities to the ramping up of supply of new homes. We very much welcome this as we believe there is a huge potential across many parts of London and the South East. The three keys to realising this potential are:

  •  A major extension of the estate regeneration programme, based on the provision of brand new, mixed tenure homes that will result in an increase in overall supply as well as a dramatic improvement in the quality and lifetime costs of the replacement affordable housing.
  • A homes driven review of all other local authority property; a prime example being schools, where redevelopment can not only secure brand new schools that will meet growing pupil levels but release land for new homes.
  • Major expansion of joint ventures with local authorities, based on simpler contractual arrangements  than LHCs and LABVs, which will enable them to maximise the benefits of redevelopment without being exposed to full commercial risk.

Our experience of working in partnership with local authorities and housing associations over the last 3.5 years tells me that, working together, we can make the contribution that both the Chancellor and the Mayor of London want to see.

What do you believe are the prospects for affordable new homes and regeneration?

Michael Hill

New Business Director, Countryside Properties’ Regeneration South Division


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Here you’ll find property related blog articles from the team at Countryside as well as independent experts. Expect regular tips and advice on topics such as buying a new home, interior and landscape design, setting up home, mortgages and finance, plus articles on architecture, the property market, regeneration and more.

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