Homes England disrupts housing market

Building plansThe government’s ‘housing accelerator’, the non-departmental national agency, Homes England, has published its five-year Strategic Plan.

The strategy describes how the government, working in partnership with all elements of the housing industry, plans to:

  • unlock public and private land;
  • ensure investment products to support housebuilding and infrastructure;
  • improve housebuilding productivity;
  • establish market resilience;
  • deliver high-quality homeownership products; and
  • support local areas.

London, where housing delivery is already largely devolved, is the only area of England not covered in the plan.

Chairman, Sir Edward Lister, said:

“Ultimately, we need to disrupt the housing market.

“That is why  government has established Homes England and we are already striking bold deals and forming new types  of innovative partnerships to shake up housing delivery.

“It is just the start. This five-year strategic plan sets out our ambitious new mission and the steps we will take with industry to respond to the long-term housing challenges facing this country.

“We plan 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.”

The plan details recent deals in which progress has already been made, including:

  • land acquisitions in Plymouth and Sussex;
  • a £1 billion lending alliance with Barclays which will support smaller builders;
  • a joint venture with Kier’s residential arm;
  • strategic partnerships with housing associations; and
  • infrastructure-led major developments at Ebbsfleet in Kent, Daedalus on the Solent and Northstowe in Cambridgeshire.

A total of £653 million in funding will be secured by the new partnerships from the Affordable Homes Programme, aiming to provide an additional 13,475 affordable homes by 2022. These affordable homes will include houses for social rent in areas of high affordability pressure.

Homes England employs nearly 750 full-time staff and plans to double in size over the next 18 months.

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