01 NOV 2016

Housing Infrastructure Pilot

The HFi have launched the Government backed Housing Infrastructure Pilot, being delivered in partnership with the South East Local Enterprise Partnership. The pilot is examining ways in which different parties and public bodies, local and national, can help to identify, plan, assess and unblock factors in order to facilitate accelerated growth and housing delivery.

This is an opportunity to unlock market potential and accelerate housing delivery to build strong and sustainable communities. The pilot focus is on establishing the cross sector collaboration that lies at the centre of housing success. By working together we can build the homes we need, faster.

The report is scheduled to be published during 2017 and will be presented to the Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, and the Housing and Planning Minister, Alok Sharma.

Thorough our joint working the HFi has already seen comprehensive housing growth and ambitious plans for future housing delivery in the South East LEP area. We aim to establish a working understanding of the housing growth capacity and utilities inter-dependency in the context of housing delivery in the immediate term (1-3 years) and short term (3-5 years) within the pilot assessment area of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership with the intention of identifying actions to build more homes, faster.

Our Chief Executive Natalie Elphicke says about the pilot: "When we speak to housing developers, they often say it is often water, electricity, gas, broadband and roads which are impeding their ability to build more homes faster.

"Water and sewage connectivity is a particular problem, with some water companies completely failing to deliver what housing developers require. This has been slowing down the rate of housing completions right across the country.

"Our hope is that this new pilot scheme, which brings together key players from the private and public sectors, will provide us with a blueprint for identifying and fixing these issues and facilitating more speedy housing growth."

Government and Industry Backing for the Pilot

The pilot scheme is being carried out in the South East LEP area with the guidance of experts from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, the Home Builders Federation, Laing O'Rourke, Anglian Water, Kent County Council, Developers, Stephen Hammond MP, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Housing & Finance Institute.

The scheme will pay particular attention to housing developments that have been delayed due to a lack of water, sewage, electricity, gas or road connectivity. If successful, the plan is to roll the scheme out across the UK in 2017.

The scheme is expected to run for 8 months, with an initial report on its findings to Housing & Planning Minister, Alok Sharma MP, and to the Chair of the all parliamentary infrastructure group, Stephen Hammond MP.

The former Housing & Planning Minister, Gavin Barwell commented: "The Government is fully committed to speeding up housing delivery and to ensuring that everyone is playing their part towards building the homes our country needs. I welcome this capacities mapping pilot programme led by the Housing & Finance Institute and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership. I look forward to seeing the report identify practical steps to build more homes, more quickly."

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