Four things taken from Torquay this year

The Chartered Institute of Housing’s South West conference in Torquay seems to have been a success this year, in spite of the cutbacks that have hit sponsorship budgets and delegate numbers and made events like this much more difficult to put on.

The CIH is a key partner for the HCA and this is a really important event for us to be involved in, particularly at a time of reorganisation when colleagues who are new to the patch have the opportunity to meet the sector’s leading local figures and understand the issues that drive delivery here. Even though our sponsorship of the event is a thing of the past, I am glad we maintained a delegate presence this year (NB: three of us were guests, including two speakers).

I certainly found attending yesterday worthwhile, made some good contacts and found out a few nuggets of information which I would not have known if I had stayed in the office. Here are some of the more noteworthy discoveries, along with some thoughts about the event itself.

Continue reading “Four things taken from Torquay this year”

Affordable Rent: a new name on the block

After little media debate, but many questions from partners in recent weeks, Grant Shapps has unveiled the new model he wants to deliver 150,000 new affordable homes across England over the next few years.

Affordable Rent (as it is called) is intended to enable housing providers to bring vacant homes back into use and deliver new housing. This will be part-funded by allowing providers to charge up to 80% of market values on the properties, with the HCA looking to invest around £2bn in this new ‘product’.

This proposition (very different though it is) has resulted in many various expectations and questions about what it will deliver and how it will work. Hopefully, the detail revealed today will answer many of those questions that have been posed to date. 

Details of Grant Shapps’ Ministerial Speech can be found here.