G15 chairman and Optivo chief executive Paul Hackett heralded the prime minister’s house building summit yesterday as an “important milestone” for housing associations during a panel debate at MIPIM UK in London. Article courtesy of PropertyWeek.com.
Speaking on The expanding role of housing associations in housing delivery panel, Hackett said there was cross-party consensus on solving the housing crisis and the PM herself was driving this change. “I’m optimistic and encouraged by what I’m hearing,” he said.
The Prime Minister gathered leading housebuilders, smaller developers, housing associations and local authorities for a summit at 10 Downing Street yesterday to discuss how best to tackle the housing crisis.
Hackett said an important change which would help housing associations with delivery would be a clearer route to funding.
“We need to unlock larger more straight forward funding programmes,” he added.
Aiming his response at fellow panellist Nick Walkley, chief executive, Homes and Communities Agency, he said he appreciated Walkley had inherited a complicated system of funding and hoped he would be able to streamline the process.
Walkley, who described housing associations as “having a real moment” raised questions over their capacity to deliver and develop the number of homes needed and whether housing association boards were ready to take on the risk of scaled-up delivery.
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Modular construction was raised as one method of increasing the volume of delivery, with a commitment from government to underwrite the risk involved in the new method of delivery.
Walkley also warned housing associations not to get drawn into ‘phoney’ competition with other parties such as local authorities and the private sector when competing for land – which could drive up prices.