The Affordable Homes Programme for 2012/15 has finished, so who were the winners and losers?
The bell sounded at just gone 4.30pm on 31 March and there were smiles all around in the offices of the HCA and the GLA. Job done. All the numbers in. That’s how the story goes and until the dust settles and the figures are actually published, those outside will just have to speculate on how well the sector really has done on delivering those very stretching targets.
Well, I talk to a lot of associations, a few developers and an increasing number of local authorities and I think there really just might be a good story to tell, and I think it should be told. So I want to set up a club and if you are an association, developer or a local authority, I’d like you to join it. It’s called the 100% club and it’s for those who hit 100% of their development targets.
There’ll be a bit of tolerance. Ninety eight percent will get you in but 95% probably won’t. It will depend on just how many have hit that golden number.
I want to set up a club and if you are an association, developer or a local authority, I’d like you to join it. It’s called the 100% club and it’s for those who hit 100% of their development targets
Why do I think it matters, and why is it a club worth joining, other than for the bonuses for those development staff who’ve been incentivised to deliver? Well it matters because in a few weeks time, we will have a new government and whichever party or parties form the next administration, they will turn to those organisations who have delivered: who have overcome the odds and the planning bureaucracy; the increases in labour costs and the scarcity of plumbers and bricklayers; the difficulties with utilities and availability of land; and have come up with solutions. It will be those organisations whom government, whether national or regional, will want to talk to about how we deliver at least 200,000 homes over the next development cycle.
There are great stories to be told about what the offer could be and what is then needed from government to deliver more. The G15 group of large associations have a great and ambitious manifesto for growth and change (see here).
And some of their individual members such as L&Q are setting a high but necessary bar for future provision. The national Placeshapers group of 100 associations among others has an equally bold vision of what can be done to increase supply.
However, those who didn’t quite hit the 100% this year will find it more difficult to join the club next year. So if you are one of this very successful group let me know by entering your details here, and we’ll make sure that the sector and beyond know just what housing organisations have actually delivered.
Steve Douglas is a partner at Altair