Natalie Interviewed on Five Live

HFi Today, February 2017

Key Issues:

More Councils Show that they are Housing Business Ready
Latest housebuilding results
The HFi on the Housing White Paper
The HFi on the Housing White Paper: Focus on the South East
Housing Infrastructure Pilot: HFi Workshop Brings Experts Together to Unlock Housing Infrastructure Solutions
HFi Comment: The Government Should Break Up The Monopolies That Dominate Our Housing Industry


Next cohort of councils due to graduate from their Housing Business Ready programme








There are a further 7 councils underway on their Housing Business Ready (HBR) programmes across the country, with the first class of 2017 due to complete their programmes shortly. The HBR programme and workshops have reached 50 councils to date with many places for the Spring season cohort already booked up.

The councils have been developing their practical business and strategy skills to accelerate housing delivery. The HBR team have been hugely impressed by the HBR councils. There is much to celebrate and we will be highlighting the work of these councils over the next few weeks.

We are hugely impressed with the HBR Councils’ vision and community focus, as well as their on-the-ground strength and experience to deliver the jobs, housing and growth to create strong and sustainable communities for the future.

To find out more about the HBR Programme please email:

Latest Housebuilding Statistics

The latest housing statistics have been published yesterday and can be found here:

Annual figures (December 2015 to December 2016) for new building starts saw a 5% increase overall, with an 8% increase in private housebuilding and a 12% fall from housing associations. Starts overall are 153,370 homes.

Starts are only 15% below the March 2007 high water mark and are 143% above the low water mark of March 2009. There continues to be a higher proportion of houses to flats being built.

Annual completions showed a slight decrease at 1%  which was driven by a large (20%) fall in housing association completions against a 3% increase in private developers.

There were increases in completions in 165 out 326 local authority areas.

Adam Boulton on Sky News interviewing HFi Chief Executive, Natalie Elphicke, on housing policy



BBC Radio 5 Live Drive – Natalie Elphicke OBE on the Housing White Paper



The HFi on the Housing White Paper

The HFi were pleased at the adoption of key Institute recommendations n the government’s recent housing white paper. This included supporting the timely connection of utilities for faster housing growth, recommended in our 2016 Paper How to Build More Homes, Faster , the role of councils in housing delivery and shaping of the housing market.

Our chief executive Natalie Elphicke appeared across the media to discuss these and other key themes of the paper. In appearances on Adam Boulton’s Sky New show, BBC Westminster and Radio 5Live, Natalie gave her insight into home ownership, government funding and future supply as well what the white paper means for the future of Housing, Finance, National and Local government policy and delivery.

The HFi on the Housing White Paper: Focus on the South East

HFi Chief Executive and former government housing adviser, Natalie Elphicke’s focus on the Housing White Paper and what it means for hard working councils in the South East:

“The government is right to support the building of homes at greater densities and to bring in fairer protection for tenants. These are two very practical measures to help Londoners. But the Government needs to be careful not let London off the hook by imposing biggest housing targets on the South East and further straining infrastructure in those areas.

It is simply wrong to imply that the Home Counties councils are not doing enough to support national housebuilding. Latest figures on registrations for new properties saw a 14% increase in the South East. Councils in the South East may be left feeling muddled and confused about the Government’s White Paper. On the one hand, the government appears to have ruled out relaxing controls on green belt land. On the other hand, the threat of central government set housing targets could force the allocation of additional land for building, over and above the high targets for housing growth already in place.”

Housing Infrastructure Pilot: HFi Workshop to Bring Experts Together to Unlock Housing Infrastructure Solutions

The HFi’s Housing Infrastructure Pilot continues at pace. Next week, experts are coming together at a full day Housing Infrastructure Workshop to examine the issues and solutions in detail, as well as hear evidence from invited contributors. This is the next important stage in the government backed pilot scheme which is being held in the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP) area and is looking at why infrastructure is holding up house building and how delivery can be practically improved to speed up housing delivery.

This workshop is an opportunity for housing, infrastructure and finance experts to collaborate to progress the identification of workable outcomes for better infrastructure delivery. The contributions will be fed into the HFi’s project findings, which are reported to the Housing and Planning Minister and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Infrastructure. Representatives from – amongst others – HBF, NHBC, SE LEP, HCA, Anglian Water, SE LEP, Openreach, Laing O’Rourke and Keepmoat will use the full day workshop to move towards establishing a working understanding of the housing growth capacity and utilities inter-dependency in both the immediate term and short term, with the intention of unlocking solutions and identifying actions to build more homes, faster.

HFi Comment: The Government Should Break Up The Monopolies That Dominate Our Housing Industry

Writing in the Huffington Post, Natalie Elphicke called on government to put competition in the housing & finance industries at the heart of their objectives: “Competition does not just mean the ability of Business A to bid for the same work or the same pot of money as Business B. It means recognising that government policy does not impact equally on different housing markets around the country.

A government policy that works for London and Manchester may not work for Newcastle or Hastings or in rural Cornwall.

It means understanding and recognising how different tax and regulatory regimes, including planning and local taxes, impact on different business types. Financial cross-subsidy models work in high value locations for mainstream developers and housing associations, but different financing and investment solutions may be required in different locations or on smaller or specialist sites.”

Go here to read the full article.
HFi Dates to Note:

28 February 2017: Housing Infrastructure Pilot steering group
1 March 2017: Infrastructure Forum LEP Roundtable
2 March 2017: Jaywick Sands Renewal Advisory Panel
7 March 2017: Inside Housing Judging Shortlist Presentation Day
8 March 2017: Spring Budget 2017

Team HFi