It is not just because I have family in Norwich and support Norwich City that I took a particular interest in the "innovative" deal recently struck between the city council and the Homes and Communities Agency.

Nor was it because I have a great deal of respect for the knowledge and efforts of both Richard Jones of EC Harris and Terry Fuller, now of the HCA. In a world where hot air blows freely, here are two people well worth listening to.

No. What intrigues me about this deal is how it might reshape the way housing is delivered.

I don't say it will prove revolutionary, but it may in that here is a vehicle for delivering private homes and social homes in a very different way than in the past.

I am sceptical about trendy management-speak tags associated with processes, but the Single Conversation (or "conversion" as I keep malapropising it, much to my annoyance) approach at the heart of the HCA's efforts does seem to have considerable merit. And it does seem to have the ability to bring power and coordinated decision making to a sensible level.

But what appears to have come out of this deal, unless I have misunderstood, is that it potentially puts the local authority in a position where it could build homes for both social and ultimate private ownership in anticipation of a market rise, instead of during the market rise.

I have banged on a few times about the benefits of the state or its organs building homes, renting them and eventually selling - where a proportion of homes are built for private sale, but held as rental properties until it is more beneficial to release them onto the open market.

Interestingly, I met with Richard some weeks ago to discuss various things and he rapidly ran through the model his team at EC Harris has put together to support deals such as this one. I was and am convinced by its purpose and usefulness.

From what I gleaned from our chat, I can surmise that it will allow for at least the informed discussion of very different approaches to cracking the house building nut. One of those could be for the council to take a much more active role in the delivery of private sector homes.

There will undoubtedly be obstacles, but the process being adopted here appears to allow for a wider and more flexible debate based on rapidly processed information and sensible, adjustable assumptions.

Perhaps the council will not chose a more radical approach, but perhaps it may chose to become "the developer" during this fallow period for private house building. I don't know and we shall see.

There are of course major issues regarding risk, but whatever the eventual path chosen by the council and the HCA the signs are that this deal will move the process of house building along in a barren time and in a way that should work for both the greater good of the community and the local construction workforce. If it can do that it should be applauded.

If it also, as it might, provides a framework for a more durable process of housing delivery, then it should be widely welcomed.