Housing remains high on the government agenda this week as they hosted a roundtable at Number 10 for government officials and key representatives from the housing sector.
The meeting was attended by a small group of developers and builders, modular construction specialists, the Chartered Institute of Housing, National Housing Federation, Local Government Association, members of the G15, and the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC), alongside Melanie Dawes, Permanent Secretary DCLG; Sajid Javid, Secretary of State; Gavin Barwell, Chief of Staff and Alok Sharma, Housing and Planning Minister.
The discussions covered topics such as planning, skills shortages, and modern methods of construction (MMC), all of which were focused on the question: what do we need to do more to increase housing supply?
Tracy Harrison, Deputy Chief Executive, Northern Housing Consortium said:
“The NHC was delighted to have the opportunity to specifically represent the views of the North at a meeting which otherwise could have been dominated by London and the South East.
We were able to highlight the key opportunities in the North and emphasise the commitment to development from our Northern members, our history of innovation and collaboration in the North between local authorities and registered providers, and our excellent supply of developable land.
We also shared the challenges we face: low land values and the high cost of bringing that land to market. We highlighted the need for support with land remediation and land assembly costs through upfront investment and patient capital.”
“We believe local authorities can play a key role in development but we have to address the loss of capacity and skills. There are real opportunities to rebalance the economy and build the kind of housing markets that will support a Northern Powerhouse.”
Other key topics discussed around the table included; the argument for government to make a commitment and set targets around MMC, pressure for councils to be able to borrow against their assets, flexibility required around programmes and policy to enable localised solutions and the need for pathways to ownership through different tenures.
The NHC was delighted to see Gavin Barwell at the meeting who understands these issues and the challenges highlighted in the NHC Commission for Housing in the North report. The NHC will continue these discussions when it meets with Alok Sharma at the landlord and tenant engagement session it is hosting in York next week.
Claire Henderson, Communications Manager, Northern Housing Consortium, Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org 01915661032
David Hetherington, Marketing Officer, Northern Housing Consortium, email@example.com 0191 5661038
About the Northern Housing Consortium
The Northern Housing Consortium represents the views of housing organisations in the North of England. We are a membership organisation made up of local authorities, ALMOs and associations that provide social housing for tenants.
Not only does the NHC bring its members together to share ideas, we represent their interests and ensure they are heard at a regional and national government level.
Download the Commission for Housing report