The simple function of registered social landlords is to provide decent homes for those in greatest need. The approaches that housing associations are adopting as they struggle to meet those needs, particularly in the South, are becoming ever more varied and innovative, as this issue of Homes recognises.

Network Housing Association is leading the development process with its £73m mixed-tenure, mixed-use project in Pimlico; Community Housing Association is making a name for itself in the private rented sector, and the Peabody Trust is renowned for its creativity. All are developing business skills and finding it pays to innovate.

A year ago we launched the Building Homes Quality Awards to recognise business talent and innovation in both the affordable and private housing sectors. This year the awards are even bigger, with two new categories for marketing and land strategy.