07 DEC 2017

HFi Today, Budget, Events and Luton

- Budget 2017: Key Housing Policy highlights for the HFi

- Housing Business Breakfast Autumn Budget Special

- Upcoming Events

- The HFi in Luton


Budget 2017: Key Housing Policy highlights for the HFi


In the 2017 Budget it was fantastic to see so many of the Housing & Finance Institute's recommendations taken forward.

The HFi's six favourite highlights from Budget 2017 are:

1. Planning reform – The HFi's Chairman, Sir Mark Boleat, recommended radical change to the planning system including better land use and densification in urban areas such as London (Mark Boleat, 2017).

2. Housing the Regions – The HFi have long recommended a more regionally based housing delivery approach that gives flexibility in funding and powers at the grassroots, along with more money (From the Shore to the Shires, 2016).

3. Keeping developers contributions – The HFi have called for local flexibility in funding section 106 payments so that they can be kept and deployed locally rather than being handed back to the developer (Better Connections, 2017).

4. Additional financing powers for infrastructure – The HFi have called for additional money and financing powers for infrastructure investments (Better Connections 2017. How to Build More Homes Faster, 2016).

5. Real time information about what homes are being built and where – The HFi have called for publicly available real time supply chain information on what homes are being built and when they are ready to be occupied (Better Connections 2017).

6. How to Build More Homes, Faster – The HFi have produced pioneering work on how to build more homes, faster. There is much more that can be done to close the gap between land, planning permissions and homes ready to be occupied (How to Build More Homes, Faster 2016, Shore to Shires 2016, Better Connections 2017).

Click here to read our highlights in full.


Housing Business Breakfast Autumn Budget Special

Last Wednesday, we held our Housing Business Breakfast Autumn Budget Special. This allowed participants to analyse and discuss the 2017 Budget.

We had attendees from all across the housing sector, from local authorities to developers and lenders. The majority of attendees welcomed the budget and considered it a step forward, but only a step forward. Yes, the budget moved in the right direction, however, more needs to be done if the Government is to meet its objective of building 300,000 new homes a year.

There was significant discussion around what people thought were the priorities for housing sector, with everyone agreeing that houses for market sale was a clear priority. While there is a clear need for more houses for market sale, it is also clear that we cannot forget other types of tenures. A functioning housing market requires housing across all tenures, allowing residents to choose the right tenure for themselves. Choice and variety is of fundamental importance.

Our next Housing Business Breakfast will be on 7 February next year. More details to follow.


Upcoming Events

 

In addition to our next Housing Business Breakfast, we also have two events in Parliament early next year.

Infrastructure

You will get an invitation shortly to our event entitled 'Solving the housing crisis through infrastructure delivery'. The event will discuss our latest paper - Better Connections - drawing on the conclusions of our Housing Infrastructure Pilot. The event will have an excellent panel of speakers and is not to be missed. Our thanks to Infrastructure APPG Chair and Pilot member, Stephen Hammond MP for chairing and hosting this event.

Modular Housing
We will also have an invitation-only round table event in Parliament on rethinking modular housing. The discussion will facilitate the writing of our next report in this area on modular housing. Ahead of the round table we were pleased to visit the exiting and innovative ilke Homes modular development in East London. Our thanks to Lord Kerslake for chairing and hosting this event.

If you have any queries about our events or would like to attend, feel free to contact us on events@thehfi.com and look out for your invitation which is coming soon.


The HFi in Luton

Last week, the HFi visited Luton as part of the Housing Business Ready programme. We were given a tour of Luton and saw the outstanding work that is being done around housing.

When Vauxhall stopped producing cars in Luton the area suffered significantly. But due to the hard work of Luton Borough Council the area is now seeing a rebirth. The Luton Investment Framework is bringing £1.5 billion to Luton, resulting in town centre improvements, five new hotels, 18,500 new jobs, a new football stadium, 10 new large businesses, 5,700 new homes, infrastructure investment and two new schools.

As a consequence, Luton is becoming an ever more desirable place to live. It is just 22 minutes from London, 10 miles from the M25, has the UK's fastest growing airport and is still one of the five most affordable towns in the country for commuting to London.

One of the many highlights of the day was visiting Keepmoat's regeneration works at The Moakes, Marsh Farm, which is delivering both high quality commercial and residential properties for the people of Luton. It is clear that the public and private sector have a superb working relationship, ensuring Luton builds more homes, faster.

Luton Borough Council have produced fantastic literature on what they are doing to improve delivery of housing and services in Luton. Click here to download the Luton Investment Framework.

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