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Homes England's new strategic plan more "place-based"

Housing-led, mixed-use regeneration and new settlements will focus on the places that new homes sit in

22 May 2023
New homes at The Malings and Lower Sternberg’s Yard, Newcastle. Image: PfP Igloo
New homes at The Malings and Lower Sternberg’s Yard, Newcastle. Image: PfP Igloo

 

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 quality, affordable homes alongside the regeneration of towns and cities across England.

The strategic plan 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.

The plan says: "In order to thrive, places need an integrated and sustainable approach to developing the housing, jobs, transport, amenities and green space that people need."

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

Homes England’s £16.418 billion of funding is comprised of multiple programmes. Examples of these include the Levelling Up Home Building Fund, the Affordable Homes Programme (2021-26), the Home Building Fund, the Housing Infrastructure Fund, the Land Assembly Fund, the Single Land Programme, First Homes and Help to Build.

With "sustainability, decency and good design at its heart", and underpinned by over £16 billion of 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.

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.

In a further announcement, Sir Michael Lyons, Chair of The English Cities Fund (ECF), a public-private partnership developer, says £200m Fund has more major deals in pipeline

ECF is a long-running regeneration joint venture between Homes England, Muse and L&G and is set to significantly expand its output, Housing Today reported this week, with a number of major deals in the pipeline.

The ECF, which has been behind major public-private regeneration schemes in Newham, Salford, St Helens and Plymouth over the last 20 years, last year committed to deliver 6,500 homes over the next 10 years.

ECF says is has signed a deal with Bradford Council for a 1,000-home redevelopment of a large city centre site, had a number of such deals in the pipeline and was now looking to go beyond the 6,500-home target.

 
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