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Homes England unveils five-year plan to deliver affordable homes and regenerate urban areas

  • 16/05/2023
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Homes England unveils five-year plan to deliver affordable homes and regenerate urban areas
The government’s housing and regeneration agency, Homes England, has outlined its five-year strategic plan to deliver good quality affordable housing and regenerate towns and cities.

The strategy is underpinned by over £16bn in HM government funding, and that plan is “a call-to-arms and an offer to the entire housing and regeneration sector”.

The plan also aims to get Homes England to work in a more “place-based way” so its powers, funding, expertise and technical capacity will be tailored to the specific challenges in different areas of England.

It will build on the “strategic place partnership” it has with Manchester and there will be “similar partnerships” that the agency will establish in the coming months. This includes West Midlands.

The plan is underpinned by five objectives, including supporting the creation of “vibrant and successful places” and work with local leaders to deliver “housing-led mixed-use regeneration with a brownfield-first approach”.

Another objective is to facilitate the creation of the homes people needed, including intervening where necessary to ensure that places have enough homes of the right type and tenure.

Other objectives include building a “housing and regeneration sector that works for everyone”, promoting the creation of high-quality homes that meet community needs and enable sustainable homes and places.

The agency said it will also work closely with the government to play an active role in building safety. This covers “providing help and support to local leaders to overcome capacity and capability barriers that are delaying delivery on the ground”.

Homes England’s chief executive Peter Denton said: “Housing touches everyone’s lives and the importance of creating good quality, affordable homes and minimising 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.”

He continued: “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.”

Denton said that the 2023 to 2028 strategic plan was 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,” he added.

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.”

Homes England’s chair Peter Freeman said that there was “no doubt” that housing played an “enormous role in the wellbeing and prosperity of our country”.

“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,” he said.

Freeman said that it was a “pivotal moment” for Homes England to “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”.

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