Social Housing & Contracting - Relevant News
Homes England Grants £38m to Speed Up Development of 2,000 Homes

Homes England has agreed funding deals worth £38.2m with six Local Authorities, to speed up the construction of at least 2,000 homes across the country.

The funding comes from the Government's £350m Local Authority Accelerated Construction (LACC) programme, which was launched to help unlock public land as well as speed up the deliver of Local Authority housing schemes.

Stafford & Rural Homes Completes Merger with Housing Plus

Housing Plus and Stafford & Rural Homes have merger to form a new organisation, which will retain the Housing Plus name.

L&Q Completes Merger with Trafford Housing Trust

Trafford Housing Trust (THT) has become a standalone subsidiary of L&Q as it completes the £4bn deal. As part of the deal THT will retain its own brand, board and executive management team.

The merger is expected to unlock L&Q's ambition to deliver 20,000 new homes in the North West.

Welsh Government Announce £20m Loan Scheme for Housing Associations

The Welsh Government has announced that £20m has been made available from the Land for Housing scheme to help Housing Association buy building land. As the loan gets repaid, the money will be reinvested into the scheme, so that more land can be purchased and more can be homes built.

Housing Plus and Stafford & Rural in Merger Talks

Stafford & Rural Homes and Housing Plus Group have announced that they are in merger negotiations. The merger is expected to take place in October 2019.

Prime Minister Appoints New Housing Secretary and Minister

The new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has appointed a new Housing Secretary and Housing Minister in the Cabinet reshuffle.

James Brokenshire has been replaced as Housing Secretary by Robert Jenrick. Mr Jenrick previously worked in the Treasury as Exchequer Secretary.

Esther McVey has been appointed as the new Housing Minister. Ms McVey takes on the role from Kit Malthouse who has moved to the role of Policing Minister. Ms McVey previously held the role of Work and Pensions Secretary between January and November 2018.

CIH Housing 2019

This week we are in Manchester for the CIH Housing 2019 Exhibition and Conference. We are exhibiting, so why not stop by our stand for a chat! You can find us on E33.

Come and Visit Us at the Housing 2019 Exhibition

Focal will be exhibiting at this years CIH Housing Exhibiton and Conference, so why not drop by our stand to have a chat with one of the team.

Alternatively, call 01297 626770 to book in a time to talk with our Director.

Peabody and Town & Country Have Merged

Town & Country Housing Group has become a subsidiary of Peabody, as they complete their merger deal. The deal will see the subsidiary increase its development pipeline by more than 500 homes each year.

Catalyst and Aldwyck have Merged

Catalyst Housing and Aldwyck Housing Group have merged, with Aldwyck becoming a subsidiary of Catalyst. The newly formed organisation now aims to increase its development programme across London and the Home Counties.

For more information on this merger call 01297 626770.

Warmer Homes Scotland Extended to 2022 with £38m Funding Boost

The Warmer Homes Scotland initiative has awarded a £38m funding boost to managing agent Warmworks to continue to deliver the Scottish Government’s fuel poverty scheme until 2022.

People at risk of fuel poverty are eligible through the scheme to have improvements made to their property such as new heating systems and insulation.

L&Q and Trafford Housing Trust Announce Merger Plans

L&Q and Trafford Housing Trust have announced plans to merge. The merger would see Trafford Housing Trust become a wholly owned subsidiary of L&Q, and will unlock the potential for the development of thousands of new homes over the next 10 years in the North West region, half of which will be affordable. The merger is expected to be finalised in June 2019.

Five New Garden Towns Announced

Homes England has announced five new Garden Towns across the country. The five new schemes will join the existing 23 Garden Communities that the Government is currently supporting. The new Garden Towns are:  

  • Grazeley Garden Settlement
  • Hemel Garden Communities
  • Easton Park, North Uttlesford and West of Braintree Garden Communities
  • Tewkesbury Ashchurch Garden Community
  • Meecebrook

Bolton at Home and Arcon Housing Group Confirm Merger

Housing Association, Bolton at Home, has acquired Arcon Housing Group in a bid to develop more homes. Arcon will become a subsidiary of Bolton at Home as of April 2019.

The two groups first announced that they were in merger talks back in September 2018.

For more information on this or other ongoing mergers, give Focal a call on 01297 626770.

Bovis Homes Launches Partnership Housing Division for Housing Associations

Bovis Homes has announced its plans to launch a new housing division to develop homes specifically for UK Housing Associations. The Bovis Partnership Housing Division will team up with associations on land-led schemes, initially from its own strategic land bank with a view to possibly partner on Housing Association plots. 

The company has already identified six sites from its strategic land bank that are suitable for partnership development.

Government Announces £9m Cash Boost for Garden Communities

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced a £9m cash injection to speed up the locally-led building of Garden Communities. This latest funding will help get 21 sites ready for development including the next phase of Bicester Garden Town.

Further information can be found in the Newbuild Initiatives section of PREEMPT.

Successful Bidders Plan to Add Extra Housing Associations to Strategic Partnerships

Four of the Strategic Partnerships that were recently announced have confirmed plans to add further Housing Associations to their partnerships to help deliver the additional housing starts. As part of Homes England's strategic partner agreements, Housing Associations can bring other no-for-profit organisations into their partnerships or give other associations access to their grant.

Eight More Partnerships for Homes England

Homes England has secured a further eight strategic partnerships bringing its total partnerships with Housing Associations to over 20. All the partnerships will share a £1.7bn funding package to deliver roughly 40,000 affordable housing starts by March 2022.

Successful partners and allocations for all of Homes England's strategic partnerships can be found in the Newbuild section of PREEMPT.

Right to Buy Ends in Wales

The Right to Buy and associated schemes have officially been abolished in Wales. The Bill to scrap the Right to Buy received Royal Assent on 24th January 2018, but the ban was not enforced until 26th January 2019 to give tenants a last chance to become homeowners through the policy.