Review Calls for Homes England to Embrace Greater Risks to Enhance Housing Supply

A recent evaluation has put forward that Homes England, the nation’s housing accelerator, should adopt a bolder approach in taking risks to significantly increase housing delivery across the UK. This suggestion comes alongside advice for the agency to divest its responsibilities related to the Help-to-Buy scheme and building safety regulations.

A Catalyst for Housing and Regeneration
The Cabinet Office’s review of Homes England, encapsulated in a 114-page document, reiterates the agency’s pivotal position in transforming housing visions into tangible communities. Over the past five years, Homes England’s efforts have resulted in the development of over 186,400 new homes, preparation of land for nearly 400,000 future homes, and assistance for over 252,500 households in achieving homeownership. The review also highlights the agency’s adeptness and potential in expanding its development role, particularly in urban and new settlement projects.

Government Endorsement and Future Directions
Michael Gove, Housing Secretary, lauded the review, affirming Homes England’s instrumental role in driving the nation’s affordable housing and urban regeneration initiatives. He committed to collaborating with Homes England to develop an implementation plan that aligns with the government’s extensive housing strategy, aiming to enhance the agency’s operational success.

Peter Freeman, Chair of Homes England, expressed enthusiasm for the positive acknowledgment of the agency’s efficiency and governance, recognising the review’s recommendations as opportunities for evolution. He anticipated that these changes, subject to coordination with the DLUHC and Treasury, could revolutionize the agency’s approach to housing delivery and community creation.

Operational Excellence and Strategic Partnerships
Peter Denton, the Chief Executive of Homes England, praised the recognition of the agency’s staff and partners, highlighting their dedication during a tumultuous period for the market. He emphasized Homes England’s unique position to stimulate local regeneration and housing projects through its resources, expertise, and partnerships. The agency’s place-based initiatives are already making strides in various regions, with expectations to establish strategic partnerships serving over 13 million people by 2025.

This review’s recommendations for Homes England could herald significant developments in the UK housing market, with potential impacts on residential landlords. An increased supply of homes, driven by strategic risk-taking and efficient use of resources, may influence rental markets and property values. Landlords should stay abreast of these changes, considering how Homes England’s enhanced role and new housing initiatives might affect investment decisions and portfolio strategies.