Home Group urges ‘three Rs’ for housing at Labour Party Conference

Home Group chief executive Mark Henderson is addressing the Labour Party Conference

Mark Henderson, chief executive of Home Group
Mark Henderson, chief executive of Home Group

Home Group chief executive Mark Henderson is to outline three main themes which he believes could help Government and housing providers start to deliver the volume of homes required to tackle the housing crisis.

Addressing Labour delegates in Manchester at the start of the party conference season, Mr Henderson will mirror the advice generations of schoolchildren were given and urge decision makers to focus on the ‘three Rs’ – Rethinking, Revenue and Regeneration.

Mr Henderson will argue the next Government, regardless of its make-up, needs to re-think long held attitudes to development and instead foster a seismic shift in vision away from house building being something based around short term programmes.

He believes house building should be seen in the same light as nationally important infrastructure projects such as Crossrail or HS2 which span the two or three Parliaments.

Mr Henderson will say that a new national strategy should see Local Economic Partnerships work with local and national Government with increased Compulsory Purchase Order powers, land allocation and greater use of public land.

He will also argue that housing associations should have more flexibility over how they generate their Revenue.

Research from Home Group has shown that a one-size-fits-all model of affordable rent doesn’t work with affordable rents being unaffordable for more than 50% of people in 128 local authority areas.

Instead Mr Henderson will argue for the introduction of a flexible rent model which responds to customers’ needs and works in co-operation with market rent.

Lastly, he will say that local government should not lose sight of regeneration. By regenerating existing estates and through the use of good design, he believes local authorities, housing providers and the private sector can not only increase the number of homes available but vastly improve the quality of life of those living there

Mr Henderson will argue that regeneration shouldn’t be about relocating existing residents, demolishing existing units and replacing them solely with highly priced homes for private sale.

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