The Government’s housing and regeneration agency has unveiled its next five-year Strategic Plan, setting out how it will support communities and families by enabling the delivery of more good quality, affordable homes alongside the regeneration of towns and cities across England.
With sustainability, decency and good design at its heart, and underpinned by over £16 billion of HM Government funding, the updated plan is both a call-to-arms and an offer to the entire housing and regeneration sector. It sets out how, working with its partners, the Agency can deliver a revitalised built environment across England that serves the needs of all communities.
Alongside the Agency’s ongoing desire to work with all organisations in the housing and regeneration sector, the strategic plan also commits Homes England to working in a more place-based way – tailoring its powers, funding, expertise and technical capacity to the specific challenges faced in different parts of the England. This will build on Homes England’s strategic place partnership with Greater Manchester, and a stream of similar partnerships the Agency will be establishing over the following months, including in the West Midlands.
Chair of Homes England, Peter Freeman, said:
There is no doubt that housing plays an enormous role in the wellbeing and prosperity of our country. As an Agency, we firmly believe that affordable, quality homes in well-designed places are key to improving people’s lives. And our updated strategic plan has been designed to enable us to deliver against that.
Over the next five years, we will continue to work with housebuilders of all shapes and sizes to boost housing supply. But we will also focus on the places those homes sit in, working ever more closely with local leaders and other partners to build communities as well as housing, be it through housing-led, mixed-use regeneration or new settlements.
This is a pivotal moment for Homes England as we reaffirm our role as the Government’s housing and regeneration agency and go even further in helping to create the thriving places of the future.
The Agency’s revitalised mission is underpinned by five objectives:
- Support the creation of vibrant and successful places that people can be proud of, working with local leaders and other partners to deliver housing-led mixed-use regeneration with a brownfield-first approach.
- Facilitate the creation of the homes people need, intervening where necessary to ensure places have enough homes of the right type and tenure.
- Build a housing and regeneration sector that works for everyone, driving diversification, partnership working, and innovation.
- Promote the creation of high-quality homes in well-designed places that reflect community priorities by taking an inclusive and long-term approach.
- Enable sustainable homes and places, maximising their positive contribution to the natural environment and minimising their environmental impact.
The Agency will also continue to work closely with government to play an active role in building safety, whilst providing help and support to local leaders to overcome capacity and capability barriers that are delaying delivery on the ground.
In delivering this plan, Homes England will build on its track record of delivery since 2018. Working with over 5,000 organisation the Agency has:
- Supported the creation of 152,700 new homes (115,211 of these were affordable homes)
- Unlocked land with capacity for over 380,000 homes to be built
- Helped over 228,996 households to buy a home of their own.
More broadly, Homes England has created a stronger housing market through the creation of new institutional lending partnerships, such as the Greener Homes Alliance with Octopus Real Estate, and has supported innovative joint ventures such as the English Cities Fund. The Agency is delivering the largest new town in England at Northstowe and is backing innovation by supporting the sector to accelerate the use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). The Agency has played a central role in supporting the sector through tough economic times, including the COVID-19 pandemic and more recent economic uncertainty.
Rachel Maclean, Minister for Housing, said:
Creating high-quality and sustainable homes that people can be proud of is an absolute priority for this Government. We continue to work with partners and developers to facilitate a brownfield-first approach to meet local housing needs for local people.
That is why we are supporting Homes England’s Strategic Plan which will help deliver the affordable, well-designed homes the country needs, in the places people want them.
Chief Executive of Homes England, Peter Denton, said:
Our driving focus since 2018 has been on accelerating housing supply through a wide range of tools, interventions and support.
This mission, however, was not undertaken with only numbers and data in mind. Housing touches everyone’s lives and the importance of creating good quality, affordable homes and minimising their impact on the environment has always had a place in our work. We are already promoting schemes that are building to the new requirements of the Future Homes Standard, promoting biodiversity net gain and adhering to Building for a Healthy Life guidance. But as we move forward, the quality, decency, design and sustainability of what is built will increasingly take centre stage in our work with partners.
Our commitment to regeneration is rooted in our DNA, whether it be using our tools and capabilities to facilitate the large-scale transformations of York Central and Bristol Temple Quarter or engaging with local leaders in the West Midlands to support their ambitions to restore pride of place in Digbeth. We will continue our work with partners to support the creation, regeneration and continued wellbeing of communities right across England.
The 2023-2028 strategic plan is a signal of intent, to maintain a rigorous focus on increasing housing supply, while working with partners to support the creation, regeneration and continued wellbeing of communities right across England. We will deliver homes and places people are proud to live in for generations to come.