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Opinion: Sector needs to forge ahead

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Opinion: Sector needs to forge ahead

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Development, Finance

Opinion: Sector needs to forge ahead Opinion: Sector needs to forge ahead

JV North, a consortium made up of 10 social landlords, has received a £34.8 million allocation from the Homes and Communities Agency to build 1,745 homes.

Group chairman, and chief executive of Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, Nigel Wilson (pictured), says quick delivery is now crucial.

From JV North’s perspective, 80% of our bid was firm - members own the land or have planning permission - so we are particularly pleased to be able to utilise the early draw down opportunity and begin building as soon as practical for each organisation and get ahead.

This is an aspect the sector should really embrace.

It will send out a very strong message at a time when housing is slowly but surely moving up the political and general public’s agenda.

Some say the HCA’s 2015/18 affordable homes programme doesn’t work in the north while others says grant per unit is too low.

The key is whether it works for the individual landlord, their current financial circumstances, demand in their communities, the type of products needed and having good relationships with local and planning authorities.

The sector now has to deliver to a changing market and explore different options to make our housing offer more attractive to residents, especially as we’re competing with schemes such as help to buy.

We made an ambitious bid to deliver nearly 2,000 units - more than double the 905 we built in round one - and subsequently received the second highest allocation outside of London with £34.8m.

Members also delivered a further 576 homes under the affordable homes Guarantee programme.

The key point is that our members know we can make it work and recognise the need; our bid included 288 shared ownership units simply because there’s demand.

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