Homes for the South West members combine to form strategic partnership to ramp up building of affordable homes

Homes for the South West members LiveWest and Sovereign have joined forces with Homes England in a new strategic partnership to build even more affordable housing across the south west region.

Homes England will provide just under £590m from the affordable homes programme to eight housing providers through to March 2022, in what it called the “first wave” of its new partnership approach. The eight partners will deliver over 23,500 additional homes across all tenures, 61% of which will be affordable, Housing Secretary James Brokenshire announced at today’s Local Government Association conference.

LiveWest and Sovereign will provide an extra 2,275 affordable homes across the region with 35% for social rent, 35% affordable rent and 30% shared ownership.

Mark Washer, Chief Executive of Sovereign and Paul Crawford, Chief Executive of LiveWest, said:

“Importantly, building the homes ourselves through land-led opportunities, rather than relying on Section 106 agreements, significantly increases the volume of new homes being delivered”.

The announcement marks the first step towards a new way of working between Homes England and its partners, adopting a programme approach to delivery, with plans to explore how adopting this approach across Homes England’s land, funding and powers can further generate additional supply. Homes England will also re-open discussions with the sector this summer on a second tranche of strategic partnerships.

Following the partnership more affordable homes will be built in the south-west region to address the housing shortage.

Nick Walkley, Chief Executive of Homes England, said:

“This is a very important day for us but we have no intention to stop here. Over the summer, we will work to expand the eight deals to become even more ambitious while agreeing a second wave of strategic partnerships with other ambitious housing associations. This is a fantastic opportunity for the sector to up its game and get more affordable homes built more quickly.”

The housing providers who have signed partnerships alongside LiveWest are Sovereign, EMH Group, Great Places, Home Group, Hyde, L&Q, Places for People and the group of five Midlands associations known as Matrix Partnership. They have agreed to increase their development programmes in exchange for an additional year’s funding beyond the current spending review settlement.