As the latest round of Home and Communities Agencies (HCA) contracts are signed off, work is beginning on hundreds of new housing developments across the country.
Even a cursory glance at the news section of the HCA’s website shows numerous schemes are progressing on site or securing millions of pounds in funding to move forward.
News that the Government is to launch a £400 million fund to kick-start housebuilding as part of its housing strategy is also a massive boost.
We’ll hopefully find out more about the detail of this in the coming weeks. However, in a tough economic climate, it’s good to see that new infrastructure projects lie at the heart of the Government’s plans to stimulate growth.
While this is all good news, it’s also a reminder that as affordable homes developers we not only have to deliver high quality housing, we must also be guardians of the public purse and demonstrate value in everything we do.
Whether this is working with housing developers to ensure we provide the right type and mix of housing, consulting with residents to deliver homes they actually want to live in, or using high-performance sustainable technologies without costs spiralling, we have to deliver value for money.
The government’s decision to reduce the income householders can generate from solar panels under the Feed in Tariff (FIT), and its proposal to make future FIT payments dependent on tough new energy performance standards, shows just how quickly the funding landscape can change.
With budgets tight across all government departments, scrutiny of public spending has probably never been more rigorous. The house-building sector has to make sure it stands up to that scrutiny by delivering a high-quality product and projects that are on time and within budget.
Most of all we have to make sure we build homes people are proud to live in.
Greg Mulligan is a director of Mulbury Homes.