Housing Associations Need To Be More Creative, Brave and Agile Says Housing Chief
Published by Rob Ghosh for Hanover Housing Group in Housing
Social housing providers are at a crossroads, facing challenges that have not been experienced in the past 50 years according to the chief of one of the country’s leading retirement housing associations.
Speaking at the Older People’s Housing & Support Conference in Stratford-upon-Avon today (2 August), Bruce Moore, CEO of Hanover said,
“Spending cuts in adult social care and an uncertain future over reduced grant funding are asking a whole new set of questions of the sector. One of those is: are we willing and able to move into the area of risk and compete with the private sector for both land and market share?
“At Hanover, and I know this to be true of a number of other large specialist providers, the answer is yes. But we’ll need to be a lot more creative, brave and agile.
“I believe cross subsidising to provide affordable housing will become the norm for housing associations over the next few years. We have taken the decision to cross subsidise a larger proportion of our new affordable housing offers by building as much as 60% of our new developments for the private sector. Rather than being a reaction of despair this presents us all with exciting opportunities. We will need to be equipped and of a mind-set to enter and compete in commercial markets.
“Private developers find it harder to compete with us is in design and build specifications. All of our new housing will be built to the HAPPI (Housing for an Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation) standards and principles with larger space standards imaginative designs and quality fixtures, fittings and finishes.
Hanover believes that by making its housing a positive choice for older people it will provide the additional benefit of unlocking under occupied family properties as well being commercially beneficial for Hanover and generate funds for further investment.