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Like many in our sector, Yorkshire Housing has ambitious plans to make its contribution towards combating the housing crisis. This should not just be about the number of new homes but the quality and affordability.

In addition to the 3,120 new homes we’re building by 2021, our successful Strategic Partnership Wave 2 allocation from Homes England has given us the confidence to extend this further by an additional 3,000 new homes by 2025.

My view is that we could, and should, be doing even more – the question being what should we do and where.

Nick Atkin, CEO

It’s a Golden Time

Looking back many of us will probably view the period we are currently in as being a golden time. We’ve been provided with all the key ingredients we need to make a major contribution to increasing the supply of much needed homes across the country.

We have unparalleled levels of grant, coupled with a very positive and supportive mindset and approach from Homes England. We have access to long term and competitively priced funding that businesses outside our sector would give their right arm for.

There are a number of Councils and developers that recognise the added value housing associations offer and are keen to work with us to make their plans a reality.

What is clear is that now is the time to deliver at pace and ensure quality isn’t compromised.

I summarised this in a slightly grumpy tweet I posted during the NHF Conference last year, which then prompted quite a lively Twitter debate.

The last few years have seen housing rise towards the top of the political agenda, even despite the distraction that is Brexit. There has also been a complete reversal in how housing associations are viewed by both Ministers and officials.

The current political uncertainty will undoubtedly lead to a shift in housing policy. We’ve already had a glimpse of what this could look like. None of us want to return to the dark days of 2015 when we were very much viewed as part of the problem and not the solution.

We’ve a Big Offer to Make

Not only are the economic and social benefits of building new homes well made and increasingly more widely understood, but we have an important role to play in maintaining confidence at a time when the wider housing market and the wider economy are showing signs of slowing down. Housing associations aren’t just counter-cyclical as we offer a solution in each part of the economic cycle, building during both times of economic growth as well as during downturns. Demand for good quality affordable, safe and secure homes is even more important in times of uncertainty.

During the last recession in 2008 we continued to build when most others had shut up shop. Our flexible approach coupled with the right support from Government, councils and Homes England, will continue to ensure this is the case, regardless of what happens as a result of Brexit and the continued political uncertainty.

We need to continue to play to our strengths and learn a few new tricks along the way. Just as importantly we need to hold our nerve.

I’m not alone in this. Kate Henderson has recently set out three key asks from the next Prime Minister and their Government.

We’re Working Together

As well as focusing on the changes at a national level, my move to God’s Own Country has also helped me to reflect on how well housing associations are now collaborating and working together in a much more pragmatic way than I can ever remember. 

Yorkshire Housing is proud to be part of Homes for the North. This alliance of 17 like-minded organisations is positively creating and improving housing in the north as part of the wider rebalancing of the economy. We’ve also been making the case for housing to be part of the wider business case for investment in infrastructure. I’ve been really impressed by the extent to which this approach is leading to some tangible examples of real collaboration, including joint research and sharing of best practice, most notably around modular design. Earlier this year the four themes encased in the Homes for the North Charter around ambition, alignment, connectivity and delivery were launched in Parliament. 

At a more local level Yorkshire Housing is part of two Joint Ventures alongside eight other housing associations who are collectively investing £40m to deliver new homes on sites across the Leeds City Region and Sheffield City Regions that on our own we wouldn’t normally consider. 

The key question we all need to ask is, if we don’t build the much-needed homes now when many of the previous barriers have been removed, when will we?

 

Like many in our sector, Yorkshire Housing has ambitious plans to make its contribution towards combating the housing crisis. This should not just be about the number of new homes but the quality and affordability.

In addition to the 3,120 new homes we’re building by 2021, our successful Strategic Partnership Wave 2 allocation from Homes England has given us the confidence to extend this further by an additional 3,000 new homes by 2025.

My view is that we could, and should, be doing even more – the question being what should we do and where.

Nick Atkin, CEO

It’s a Golden Time

Looking back many of us will probably view the period we are currently in as being a golden time. We’ve been provided with all the key ingredients we need to make a major contribution to increasing the supply of much needed homes across the country.

We have unparalleled levels of grant, coupled with a very positive and supportive mindset and approach from Homes England. We have access to long term and competitively priced funding that businesses outside our sector would give their right arm for.

There are a number of Councils and developers that recognise the added value housing associations offer and are keen to work with us to make their plans a reality.

What is clear is that now is the time to deliver at pace and ensure quality isn’t compromised.

I summarised this in a slightly grumpy tweet I posted during the NHF Conference last year, which then prompted quite a lively Twitter debate.

The last few years have seen housing rise towards the top of the political agenda, even despite the distraction that is Brexit. There has also been a complete reversal in how housing associations are viewed by both Ministers and officials.

The current political uncertainty will undoubtedly lead to a shift in housing policy. We’ve already had a glimpse of what this could look like. None of us want to return to the dark days of 2015 when we were very much viewed as part of the problem and not the solution.

We’ve a Big Offer to Make

Not only are the economic and social benefits of building new homes well made and increasingly more widely understood, but we have an important role to play in maintaining confidence at a time when the wider housing market and the wider economy are showing signs of slowing down. Housing associations aren’t just counter-cyclical as we offer a solution in each part of the economic cycle, building during both times of economic growth as well as during downturns. Demand for good quality affordable, safe and secure homes is even more important in times of uncertainty.

During the last recession in 2008 we continued to build when most others had shut up shop. Our flexible approach coupled with the right support from Government, councils and Homes England, will continue to ensure this is the case, regardless of what happens as a result of Brexit and the continued political uncertainty.

We need to continue to play to our strengths and learn a few new tricks along the way. Just as importantly we need to hold our nerve.

I’m not alone in this. Kate Henderson has recently set out three key asks from the next Prime Minister and their Government.

We’re Working Together

As well as focusing on the changes at a national level, my move to God’s Own Country has also helped me to reflect on how well housing associations are now collaborating and working together in a much more pragmatic way than I can ever remember. 

Yorkshire Housing is proud to be part of Homes for the North. This alliance of 17 like-minded organisations is positively creating and improving housing in the north as part of the wider rebalancing of the economy. We’ve also been making the case for housing to be part of the wider business case for investment in infrastructure. I’ve been really impressed by the extent to which this approach is leading to some tangible examples of real collaboration, including joint research and sharing of best practice, most notably around modular design. Earlier this year the four themes encased in the Homes for the North Charter around ambition, alignment, connectivity and delivery were launched in Parliament. 

At a more local level Yorkshire Housing is part of two Joint Ventures alongside eight other housing associations who are collectively investing £40m to deliver new homes on sites across the Leeds City Region and Sheffield City Regions that on our own we wouldn’t normally consider. 

The key question we all need to ask is, if we don’t build the much-needed homes now when many of the previous barriers have been removed, when will we?

 

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