In a move which is being signalled as opening the gateway to the North, a London-based housing association is poised to acquire a Manchester profit-for-purpose organisation.
Housing associations L&Q and Trafford Housing Trust (THT) announced today that they are in talks which will see THT become a wholly-owned subsidiary of L&Q. It is anticipated that the acquisition will complete in June 2019, subject to due diligence, customer consultation and the development of a five-year business plan.
The acquisition of THT by L&Q will build on a highly successful joint venture partnership that has already seen 679 housing starts with a further 1,493 in the pipeline since it was launched in April 2017. This new agreement will unlock a further £4 billion of investment in the North West by combining the capabilities and resources of the two housing associations to create 20,000 new homes and strong communities over the next 10 years. At least half of these homes will be affordable.
by Victoria Galligan, Housing Association Magazine editor
Chancellor Philip Hammond’s affordable housing guarantee scheme means that housing associations can borrow up to £3billion to deliver 30,000 new affordable homes in England.
This is not additional funding, but merely the OK for HAs to borrow more money.
And it is not enough to provide the number of social rent properties which are so desperately needed.
Government needs to invest significantly more in genuinely affordable homes and be far bolder in its support for councils if it is to meet the ambition to deliver 300,000 new homes a year, according to a major study by the TCPA, funded by the Nationwide Foundation.
The report has revealed appetite for innovation from councils right across the country, but also concerns from many councils about their ability to deliver genuinely affordable homes available at social-rent levels.
The research, involving a survey of 76 councils, found that social rent is the most in-demand housing tenure among over half of English councils, although in 2016/17 just 5,380 new social rented homes were built in England.2 Further to this, 80% of councils said that increasing grant levels would encourage councils to build more affordable homes, and 2/3 of councils said that lifting the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) borrowing cap would allow them to build more homes (which the government has done in the budget, although this is limited to areas with ‘high affordability pressures’).
New ‘Solving the Housing Crisis?’ programme examines the contribution social housing makes to our society and what the government can do to support people in need of a home.
Terrie Alafat CBE, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), said "Can we really call ourselves a civilised society if we are not providing affordable homes for people who need them?"
Interviewed exclusively for 'Solving the Housing Crisis?', a news and current affairs-style programme created by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and ITN Productions, Terrie Alafat also championed the work of local authorities and housing associations.
What is retrofitting, exactly?
For the purposes of this article, I’m referring to ‘Retrofitting’ as the refurbishment of domestic and non-domestic buildings to reduce energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions.
In particular, this refers to projects that make major changes across the entire building to significantly reduce energy usage that require design by specialists.