South Norfolk: Housing Business Ready
It is a pleasure to announce that South Norfolk Council have been awarded Housing Business Ready status by the Housing & Finance Institute. This is the second council in Norfolk to achieve this status, after Broadland District Council achieved the status last year.
Both South Norfolk and Broadland are shining examples of local authorities working proactively to ensure more homes are built in their areas. These Norfolk councils have presided over large increases in housing delivery in recent years by working with local communities, developers and others to ensure that developments meet their objectives and serve local people.
It is clear to us that Norfolk is going from strength to strength. Norwich is a major regional centre for employment, tourism and culture and is the region's highest ranking retail centre. The area's economic strengths include specialisms in biotechnology, food processing, financial services and creative industries. The excellent education facilities, including the University of East Anglia, Norwich University College of the Arts, City College and Easton College, coupled with the high quality of life, provide a solid foundation to enhance the city's status as a major regional economic driver and a visitor destination of international importance.
We are in no doubt that over the coming years Norfolk's strategic importance to the UK's economy will grow and grow. And the excellent leadership throughout the county will ensure that Norfolk makes the most out of the opportunities available.
The HFi on Grenfell - BBC Radio 4
The HFi's Chief Executive, Natalie Elphicke OBE, recently appeared on BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour to discuss the Grenfell Fire.
Natalie expressed concern about the Government's response to the Grenfell Fire and said: "the first responsibility of any government is the safety & security of its people. We are a year on from the Grenfell tragedy and none the wiser." You can listen to the segment in full here.
The HFi wrote a report in the aftermath of the Grenfell Fire about the steps that needed to be taken, namely: Repair, Protect, Build. You can read the report in full here.
The HFi at CIH
Last month, the housing world descended on Manchester for the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Conference. The conference was packed, with a footfall of 11,000 over three days, with a wide range of exhibitors and talks from every perspective. Modular housebuilder ilke Homes was also in attendance, assembling three of its modular homes outside the conference hall in five hours - take a look at the extraordinary feat.
The HFi's Rob Beiley spoke at a session entitled 'Making the case for equity investment in affordable housing' which discussed the extraordinary growth in the amount of new equity funding coming into the affordable housing sector, ranging from the rise of the For Profit Registered Providers and private equity funds through to the new social housing Real Estate Investment Trusts. They spoke about the drivers behind the flow of new capital into the sector; what investors are looking to achieve; and what it means for traditional Registered Providers and local authorities.
Natalie Elphicke also spoke at the conference, this was for a session entitled 'Street homelessness - Is it a national disgrace?' at the Fringe Theatre, with representatives from Westminster City Council and the charity St Basils.