The Chair of Homes for the North, an alliance of the 17 largest housing associations across the north of England, has unveiled a new policy charter which will put good quality homes at the centre of northern investment and growth plans.
The charter, “Rebalancing the Economy: Building the Northern Homes We Need”, sets out four key asks that could help boost the northern economy
- A regional housing target to build at least 50,000 homes per year in the north
- A requirement that local authorities in the north align their Local Industrial Strategies with housing supply plans
- The establishment of a powerful pan-northern body charged with ensuring that housing and infrastructure are planned together over the long term
- A new type of ‘renewal deal’ between government, combined and local authorities, and housing associations that would focus on, combining existing investment streams in housing, transport, and local economic development
This comes at an exciting time, as the Transport for the North Board are set to approve the Strategic Transport Plan and Investment Programme, outlining a 30 year pipeline of transport interventions that will transform connectivity across the North.
Chair of Homes for the North and Chief Executive of Riverside Carol Matthews, said, “Previous research reveals that the North needs 500,000 homes over the next ten years just to keep pace with current demand. A new approach is needed to get the good quality homes we need across the region. We hope that our Charter – and our work with Transport for the North – will provide the blueprint for achieving that potential. We look forward to working with central and local government to change and ensure that the north is the absolute best it can be.”
John Healey MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, added, “The housing crisis is a national crisis. Home-ownership has fallen across the north of England since 2010, and there is visibly rising homelessness in almost every town and city. Ambitious northern areas want to build for the future, but Ministers are making it harder for them to do that. I hope this research will bolster the case for more investment and more decent, affordable homes for the north of England.”
Together, the associations in Homes for the North, of which Accent is a member:
- Provide affordable homes for nearly 1 million people
- Are responsible for 1 in 3 of all social rented homes in the North
- Have built over 5,500 new homes in the last year
- Are planning to build 21,300 homes over the next three years
- Employ over 17,500 people
- Add up to £2.5bn p/a in GVA to the Northern economy