A Positive and Bold Message From Homes England

The recent publication of Homes England’s five year strategy promises a genuine impetus to the housebuilding sector in England – let’s hope that the reality lives up to the billing. Homes England has clearly signalled its intent to be more proactive in coming forward to contribute infrastructure funding to both private housebuilders and RSLs where it can be shown to lead to a clear increase in new housing supply.  Ambitious delivery targets have been announced, with a plan to spend over £27 billion over the next five years. To cope with the extended workload, a doubling of staff numbers is planned over the next 18 months

As well as being great news as a material contribution to the Government’s imperative to increase new housing provision, Homes England’s decision to intervene more directly in the housing market throws up an interesting and helpful parallel with the decision by a number of local authorities to establish their own development vehicles to try and kick start greater rates of housing delivery in their areas. Greater flexibility in the way that infrastructure is funded is also an essential component in unlocking greater rates of delivery, as is the release of appropriate publicly-owned assets.   

This Land™ has an initial portfolio of 25+ sites throughout Cambridgeshire, which being the fastest growing city economy in the UK, certainly has its fair share of infrastructure requirements, from new roads to schools and affordable housing.  Like Homes England, we don’t see the challenge as purely about increasing housing delivery; we also want to reinvigorate the market by offering better design and better build quality.  The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority is already playing its part in making funds available for enabling-infrastructure to help unlock otherwise stalled schemes, so it is great to see Homes England also entering the fray with renewed vigour.  We’re looking forward to working with them to see what we can achieve. Watch this space!