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Northern Housing Consortium publishes its offer to the next Government

The Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) has launched a new offer to the next government to transform communities in the North.
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‘Building the Future of Housing in the North’ outlines the NHC’s priorities for a renewed partnership between the Government and its members up to 2035. It includes:

  • Refocusing on regeneration – building new social homes and transforming the North’s communities
  • A retrofit revolution to decarbonise the North’s older, colder homes, and to create up to 77,000 good green jobs
  • Making sure everyone across the north has a good quality, safe place to call home.

NHC members include housing associations, local authorities, Mayoral Combined Authorities and ALMOs.

Tracy Harrison, Chief Executive of the Northern Housing Consortium said:

“Housing associations, local authorities and ALMOs own 1.3m homes across the North. Social housing providers already make a huge contribution to local economies across the North, delivering around 60,000 new homes over the last five years, supporting over 70,000 jobs, and creating great places for people to live.

“However, we need to go much further and faster to tackle some of the challenges we face in the diverse housing markets we have across the North. That’s why we need a new partnership with Government, with a commitment to long-term investment. This will create the certainty needed to deliver new homes, refurbish existing ones, unlock brownfield land for up to 320,000 homes, as well as creating 77,000 green jobs through decarbonising the North’s older, colder homes.

“There is much to do but we and our members stand ready to work in partnership with the next Government to create great homes, great places, and a new generation of green jobs.”

The NHC’s proposals would be delivered by:

Building new social homes and transforming the North’s communities

  • A new long-term Affordable Homes Programme announced in the Government’s first 100 days, with greater flexibility to support regeneration projects, more influence for Mayoral Combined Authorities over where and how the money is spent in local areas, and social rent as the predominant tenure.
  • Delivering up to 320,000 homes on the North’s brownfield land, through a ten-year £4.2 billion fund delivered through Mayoral Combined Authorities.
  • Unlocking more sites and more delivery across the North by ensuring wider social and economic benefits are properly taken into account in all Government funding streams.
  • The devolution to local authorities of key aspects of Right to Buy policy, allowing discounts to be set locally and all receipts to be retained and spent within local areas.

A retrofit revolution to tackle the North’s older, colder homes and create jobs

  • Unlock up to 77,000 good green jobs across the North through a phased 10-year investment in decarbonisation of homes in the North. Government would need to invest £500 million a year to meet EPC C by 2030, and £1 billion a year up to 2035 to make meaningful progress towards Net Zero.
  • Devolve funding for retrofit for all housing tenures to Mayoral Combined Authorities – as part of expanded devolution agreements, to enable a place-based approach to domestic retrofit.

 Making sure everyone across the North has a good quality home 

  • A new Decent Homes Standard for both the social and private rented sector to ensure good quality homes for northerners.
  • This should be backed up by a new financial settlement for social housing providers including a guarantee that social sector rents can increase by up to Consumer Price Index +1% over the next ten years, so the sector can deliver the changes needed.
  • Support for local authorities to tackle poor quality homes in the private rented sector, removing barriers to local authority licensing schemes and providing an initial 2-year funding pot for enforcement.

The NHC is also calling for a sustainable financial settlement for local authorities to underpin the vital work the sector does in local communities, as well specific investment to rebuild much-needed planning capacity which has been more badly hit by cuts in the North than other regions.

‘Building the Future of Housing in the North’ is available on the NHC website Building the future of housing in the north | Northern Housing Consortium (northern-consortium.org.uk).

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