07 JUN 2019

HFi Today, Recent Round-up

Over recent months the HFi has been busy working with councils to help them build the homes our country needs, alongside our policy work. Today's round-up will cover some of the things we have been up to recently.

Invitation to the New Anglia LEP Housing Conference

Join us to celebrate success and debate how we can build on that success for a sustainable future!

NALEP and the Building Growth Group are holding their first Housing Conference on 11 July 2019, 10.00 – 16.00 at Wherstead Park, Ipswich. The Conference is an important step in further bringing together the public and private sector around the ambition to deliver 140,000 new homes across Norfolk and Suffolk by 2036.

Working closely with the HFi and Suffolk Design, the three key themes of the Conference are: Quality, Quantity, Affordability. Confirmed speakers are:

Richard Bacon – MP for South Norfolk
Sarah Beale – CITB
Ben Denton – Legal and General
Natalie Elphicke – Housing and Finance Institute
Doug Field – New Anglia LEP
Pete Gladwell – Legal and General
Wayne Hemingway – Hemingway Design
Saul Humphrey – Building Growth Group
Tom Oliver – Ilke Homes
Paul Kitson – Homes England
Chris Lamb – Design South East
Nikos Savvas – West Suffolk College

Please click here to book onto the event.

Sir Steve Bullock Appointed Chairman and Claire Kober Joins the HFi's Board

Sir Steve Bullock DL has been appointed Chairman of The Housing & Finance Institute. Sir Steve succeeds Sir Mark Boleat as Chairman of the HFi, having served on the HFi Board since the organisation's inception in 2015.

Sir Mark Boleat as HFi Chairman took the organisation from strength to strength. Planning is a topic Sir Mark feels very strongly about, and an issue he championed as Chairman. In 2017 he wrote a paper setting out his views, 'The Housing Problem in London', click here to read his report in full.

The HFi would like to take this opportunity to thank Sir Mark for all his hard work and his excellent chairmanship over the last four years.

Our new Chairman, Sir Steve Bullock DL, is also Chair of Sutton Housing Partnership, a company set up in 2006 to manage council housing stock on behalf of Sutton Council. Sir Steve was elected as the London Borough of Lewisham's first directly elected Mayor in May 2002, serving until 2018. Immediately prior to becoming Mayor he was Chair of the University Hospital Lewisham NHS Trust. Sir Steve was first elected as a councillor in 1982 and served as Leader of Lewisham Council from 1988 to 1993.

In other HFi Board news, Claire Kober OBE has joined the HFi's Board of Directors. Claire is Managing Director (Homes) at Pinnacle Group, sitting on its executive committee.

Prior to joining Pinnacle, Claire spent a decade in local government as Leader of the London Borough of Haringey where she prioritised improving education outcomes for all children, wide-scale regeneration and delivering better housing. Claire is a former Chair of London Councils – the regional body that brings together the capital's 32 boroughs to lobby for fairer funding and a better quality of life for Londoners and also represented the region on the London Enterprise Panel. She served as finance portfolio holder for the Local Government Association. In 2015, Claire was awarded an OBE for services to local government.

HBR Springboard

The Local Government Association and the HFi recently completed our new housing programme for councils called 'HBR Springboard'.

HBR Springboard was designed to meet the needs of councils that have the appetite and ambition to shape the delivery of homes for their area, and who recognise that getting support will deliver results, faster.

Each council gave a presentation on their area, their housing delivery and ambition. We were impressed by the articulation of the ambition by many of the councils, we were left with a genuine feeling that these are the councils which want to build more homes, faster.

During the course of the programme councils heard from: the Local Government Association; Cheyne Capital; Homes England; Savills; Pinnacle Group; Trowers & Hamlins; MHCLG; Neal Hudson; Local Partnerships; Optivo; Homes England; and Tendring District Council. With 32 attendees from 18 different local authorities.

This culminated in a final session which gave councils the opportunity to pitch a real development in their area in a 'Dragon's Den' style competition. Councils had the opportunity to present and get tips from experts in their field, from investors, Government and others. Together with an opportunity to attract and secure dedicated resource support from a range of partners.

The judges - Homes England, Cheyne Capital, HFi and Savills - were so impressed, they decided to offer some next steps support to every council who pitched for assistance. The three winning councils will be presenting at this year's LGA Conference - please come along.

The HFi at Conference

Our Chief Executive, Natalie Elphicke OBE, chaired the HBF Policy Conference again this year, for the second year in a row.

The conference discussed a range of issues and opportunities in the housebuilding sector and possible steps forward.

Natalie was joined by many industry experts including the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP, and the Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey MP.

Natalie also spoke at the Building Societies Annual Conference 2019. Natalie agreed with the theme of the session, that for an aspiring owner-occupier, private renter or social tenant, obtaining suitable housing is becoming increasingly challenging. She drew on the findings of the HFi and Radian's latest report, A Time For Good Homes, which exposes the severe harm to family and financial stability caused by the huge expansion in private renting over the last 15 years, affecting around 6 million people.

The Good Homes paper sets out a ten-point plan to reverse the damage caused by the explosion in private renting and to make sure that millions more people can access an affordable, stable home that supports job mobility and creates a springboard for opportunity. Click here to read the report in full.

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