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2017 Election of Directors

The overall management and strategic direction of the Northern Housing Consortium is entrusted to the Board of Directors who are subject to election each year from Full Member organisations.

Under the Consortium’s governance arrangements, all nominations for the position of Director will be reviewed by the Board (or their nominated representatives), against a Skills Matrix for Directors to ensure that they meet the Board’s requirement to fill any vacancies – a Skills Matrix and Board Director Role Profile are enclosed in the Board Director Nomination Pack.

In accordance with a procedure agreed by the Board, and to ensure a regional geographical balance across the Northern region, we are seeking nominations for a total of four new Directors’ places to be filled for the three-year period 2017-2020.

There are also three Directors who are retiring this year but who wish to stand for re-election they are as follows:

  • Chris Smith, Executive Director of Service Delivery and Development, Thirteen Group
  • Nick Atkin, Chief Executive, Halton Housing Trust
  • Bob Taylor, Group Chief Executive, First Ark

The Board have confirmed their support for the re-election of the above candidates.

Should the number of successful nominations exceed the vacancies available, a postal ballot will be arranged and the results announced for formal approval by the Full Members at the Consortium’s Annual General Meeting on 16th November, 2017 in York.

A nomination form is included in the Nomination Pack, and I invite you to consider and make nominations of candidates no later than 18th August 2017.  Please note that you can nominate more than one candidate but in doing so you should note the conditions for nominating candidates included in the Nomination Pack.

Download the Nomination Park here.

An application form for nominated candidates is included here.  This must be completed by the nominee and returned with the nomination form no later than 18th August 2017.

Download the application form here.

If you would like to discuss your nomination for the position of Director, please contact:-

Jo Boaden
Chief Executive
T: 0751 5991731

Member Showcase – YHN Goes Dutch in Newcastle

Your Homes Newcastle

The challenge of providing housing for our ageing population is often talked about in our sector and we’re all too aware of the competing factors at play when trying to meet this need.  When it comes to a deprived area in the middle of much-needed but not yet completed regeneration, the need for an innovative approach is all the more important.

Tree Top Village atriumSituated on the banks of the River Tyne, Walker was once a hub for Newcastle’s shipyard industry but in recent years has struggled to find its place in a changing social and economic environment.

Together with Newcastle City Council, we were aware of the growing need for older people’s housing in Walker but we were keen to deliver this in a way that both improved the offer for older residents and contributed to the wider regeneration of the area.

And so Tree Top Village was born.

Exclusively for people over the age of 55, Tree Top Village consists of an impressive main building offering 75 sheltered housing apartments bordered by 44 one and two bedroom homes with gardens.

One of the main inspirations for the development was Hans Becker, a Dutch architect who revolutionised older people’s living in Europe by designing housing that connects older people with the world around them and has a positive impact on health and wellbeing.  One of the central principals of Becker’s philosophy is that instead of segregating older people from the wider community we should create buildings that welcome the community in.  And that’s exactly what we’ve tried to do at Tree Top Village.

Tree Top Village lobby

At the heart of the development is a glass atrium with a lobby, restaurant, shops, museum and hair and beauty salon open to the public, providing much needed facilities, and of course employment opportunities, for people living in Tree Top Village and the surrounding areas.

We kept the principles of Becker’s “Apartments for Life” model and philosophy on human happiness at the centre of our plans which led to a building design far removed from the traditional style of sheltered housing.

Each property in Tree Top Village has its own outdoor space, whether that is a balcony, courtyard or garden, so residents can benefit from the positive impact outdoor space has on health and wellbeing.

Features inside the properties include high specification kitchens and bathrooms, spacious bedrooms and light and airy lounges, many with striking views of Newcastle’s iconic skyline.   Each of the properties can also easily be adapted to respond to a range of needs and has a level access shower, a transfer area and access to an on-site scooter store.

The layout was designed to make it easy for residents to interact with other people if they want to, whether that’s seeing what’s going on as they walk through the atrium to get to their apartment, having a chat with a neighbour in one of the communal areas or enjoying a meal in the restaurant alongside families from the wider community.  We hope that at Tree Top Village anybody who wants some company will always be able to find it.

Outside the development, the regeneration of the area continues apace, with a new primary school, much needed supermarket, redevelopment of the local park and new build projects by private developers improving the landscape of the surrounding area.

Incorporating Becker’s principles into this development required our creative heads and the need for partnership working more than ever; looking around at what is now a lively and welcoming environment  I am certain it was worth the effort and I hope we see more housing of this type in the years ahead.

David Langhorne is Your Homes Newcastle’s Assets and Development Director. For more information or to discuss this article, please contact

Data Blog – Shifting Tenure Patterns in the North

In February’s Housing White Paper the Government moved away from its broad focus on encouraging home ownership, something that was front and centre of the David Cameron administration, in favour of helping to fix the housing market so that more people across the country can have the security of a decent place to live. We examine the latest available data from the Labour Force Survey and from NOMIS to illustrate tenure make-up in the North and how it has changed over recent years.


Despite commitments and incentives from the White Paper to continue publicising the Help to Buy equity loan programme, the number of households owning their own home has been falling since 2006, and in response there is a significant increase in private rental,both nationally and in the North (as the figure below shows). After accounting for one-quarter of the housing market in 1996, social housing saw a decline in popularity until 2011 when it has remained constant at 19%.

Tenure Changes in the North 1996-2016

Source: Labour Force Survey

Generally, Tenure patterns vary by region but  private renting remains consistent across the North. The Government now recognises the need for security of tenure in the private rented sector and is committed to exploring “family friendly tenancies of three years minimum duration”. This comes after a significant increase in private renting in all parts of the country. In the North East in particular, private renting has more than doubled from 2006 to 2016 albeit from a relatively small base number of 88,000.

Change in Private Renting 2006-2016

Change in Private Renting 2006-2016

Source: Labour Force Survey

As the figure above shows, other parts of the North and the Midlands have seen large increases in the private rented sector but changes in other tenures are not so straightforward. Six out of the nine English regions saw a decrease in owner-occupation since 2016 – some relatively substantial and mostly concentrated in the three Northern regions (see Yorkshire and Humber) – along with the Midlands.

Elsewhere, with the exception of the South East, owner occupation has grown, most notably in the East of England.

Change in Owner-occupation 2006-2016

Change in Owner-occupation 2006-2016

Source: Labour Force Survey

There is no pattern to be gleaned from an examination of the change to social renting by region. There were increases in four regions and similarly, decreases in another four. As far as the North is concerned, the largest decrease (-8.4%) in social renting in the country was in the North East and there was a slight increase in Yorkshire and Humber.

Change in Social Renting 2006-2016

Change in Social Renting 2006-2016

Source: Labour Force Survey

There was also a large decrease in social renting in London where there has been increases in both private renting and owner-occupation (above).


Private renting is dominated by younger people with over half of private renters aged between 16 and 34 and this decreases with age.

Tenure in the North by Age Group

Age 16 to 34 Age 35 to 49 Age 50 to 64 Age 65 and over Total
Owner Occupied 15% 42% 38% 5% 100%
Private renting 52% 32% 14% 2% 100%
Social renting 27% 41% 28% 4% 100%

Source: NOMIS

The higher the age range, the greater the proportion of owner-occupiers and as those in the younger owner-occupied age groups get older, so the proportion of older people in this sector will grow. There is a greater spread of ages living in social rented accommodation with almost the same proportion of 16-34 year olds and 50-64 year olds living in the social sector.

It is clear that there has been a shift in tenure patterns in recent years with the private rented sector now playing almost as significant a role in the northern housing market as the social rented sector. Affordability of owner-occupation continues to be an issue, despite government attempts to counter this, and its popularity is dwindling. However, after a reported slump in the buy-to-let market, we may see younger people in a stronger position to buy their own homes in the coming years and a return to the pre-2006 status quo. Either way, local plans will need to be robust in ensuring markets are balanced and as suggested in the White Paper, may need to be reviewed every five years to keep up with the moving market. As devolution deals evolve across the northern regions, strategic sites could be allocated across larger geographical areas determining the tenure balance over local authority boundaries.

The NHC has recently constituted a working group for members on the private rented sector that seeks to share best practice and act as a forum for those working in the PRS to share ideas and problems with colleagues. With the share of the PRS growing, it is important that issues around quality, regulation and driving up standards are explored for the benefit of members and those living in private rented accommodation. The next meeting is expected to take place in October or November. To be notified when the date is confirmed, please sign up to receive the NHC’s event update.