15 AUG 2019

HFi Today, 15.08.19

Time to Break Free from the Long Shadow of the Financial Crisis

With an Autumn Brexit Budget looming, the HFi's Chief Executive, Natalie Elphicke, has written an article for Conservative Home, on the need to break free from the long shadow of the financial crisis.

Natalie argued that growth is too low, our economy is too unbalanced and too often different groups in our society are set against each other in arguing over the slices of a cake that simply haven't been growing fast enough.

The scale of the financial crash could have all but overwhelmed the country's housing and social systems. Reviews of previous housing crises demonstrated the social and economic futility and destruction in the system of mass repossession, house price collapse and re-homing/re-jobbing/re-schooling. But bad debt is like a poison, it needs to work its way out, to wash through the financial system. The long journey over the last decade has been one intended to purge the system, but to do so through a slower and softer landing rather than a sharp and catastrophic one.

However, the cycle of economic shocks has also traditionally brought economic rejuvenation. Avoiding the worst of the shock has meant that the economic rejuvenation has been more muted than might otherwise have been the case. That is a problem that we are still today grappling with, where large parts of our economy remain subject to economic drift.

Click here to read Natalie's article in full.

Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission

Recently, the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission released its first interim report entitled 'Creating Space for Beauty' with a speech by commission chair, Nicholas Boys-Smith.

Nicholas is well known as the head of Create Streets and a passionate advocate for building smarter, with an efficient use of land to deliver good quality homes the country needs. At the launch, Nicholas gave a fantastic overview of the need to include beauty when considering long-term placemaking for sustainable growth. As we at the HFI might say - let's build more beautiful homes, faster! Nicholas will be co-chairing the next phase with former chair Roger Scruton. We wish the Commission the best of luck in their work moving towards publishing their final report.

Click here to read the Commissions interim report in full.

Financing and Innovations in Housing Delivery

The third annual Housing Delivery Summit has taken place with a first-rate panel on financing and innovation in housing delivery. Joining Natalie, who chaired the panel, were: Michela Hancock, Greystar Europe Holdings Ltd; Shamez Alibhai, Man GPM; Mark Davie, M&G Investments; Ian Fletcher, British Property Federation (BPF); and Sophie White, Homes England.

The panel discussed innovation in financing, making social housing an attractive investment, the long term view of investment and how best to attract institutional investors into the residential housing market.

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