Housing is one of the defining issues or our time. Nationally, the average house now costs eight times the average income. In places such as London, Oxford and Cambridge that number rises into double digits. But the housing crisis we are experiencing today has been decades in the making. That’s why at Homes England we are creating a new type of organisation, one that’s responding to long-term challenges – with new talent and new partners who share our ambition – testing the norm so that homes can be built better and faster.
Our new organisation is playing a far more active role – stepping in where the market isn’t working, unlocking land and releasing sites to those developers that are committed to providing homes at pace.
And we have been given real muscle to back up our plans.
Just last month the Prime Minister announced a £2 billion long-term fund to boost social housing and help build the homes the country needs, including at least 40,000 more affordable homes.
Earlier in September, a £1.9bn Land Assembly Fund and the Small Sites Fund was also announced by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire. These funds will ensure Homes England invests in crucial infrastructure and help local authorities get more homes built on public land.
And the £1 billion Housing Delivery Fund, a partnership with Barclays Bank, will support small and medium sized businesses develop homes for rent or sale, including social housing, retirement living and the private rented sector, while also supporting innovation in delivery – such as brownfield land and urban regeneration projects.
By using our increased resources and expertise to ramp up the acquisition of land in areas of high demand, and by brokering deals with housing associations and the private sector and through our partnership working with local authorities – I have no doubt that together we can meet the governments ambition to build 300,000 new homes in England every year by the mid-2020s.
Many of you who are here at MIPIM 2018 share this ambition and we at Homes England look forward to discussing these important issues with you during conference week and beyond.
Sir Edward Lister
Chairman of Homes England
Photo credits: Getty Images / VictorHuang