Orbit has responded to the Lyons Review, Labour’s review into the future of housing, published today.
Paul Tennant, Chief Executive of the Orbit Group which plans to deliver 12,000 new homes by 2020, welcomed the approach set out in the review as a major step forward towards a long-term housing strategy for the UK.
"Setting an ambitious target for increasing supply to 200,000 homes a year and backing it with a commitment to prioritise capital investment over the long-term is absolutely the right approach. We need to see the funding details behind that, but it’s great to see recognition that housing is a key part of this country’s economic and social infrastructure.
"The proposals around prioritising new homes for local people are an interesting and innovative approach to addresses ‘nimbyism’ and the ideas on incentivising and driving local authorities around collaboration, land packaging, housing strategies and designated growth areas all have potential to help unlock supply. It’s also good to see Labour recognising the role of our highly entrepreneurial and dynamic housing association sector in delivering housing at scale. What we now need to see is some detail around the funding commitments. Certainly Orbit - and other HAs I am sure - are confident we can deliver at scale and with strong returns on public investment. For us this is about meeting need and aspiration, which is why we also welcome on-going Government support for products such as Shared Ownership.
"I have no problem in principle with proposals around encouraging HAs to drive their capacity and allocate as much surplus as they can to delivering new homes – that’s absolutely something we are committed to because we have a duty to do all we can to meet housing need. But it does need to considered within the overall financial profile of each organisation as that impacts on the cost of lending and our ability to operate as effective and long-term sustainable business. The independent commission to support cross-party consensus is a good idea and Garden Cities will help deliver he scale we need.
"This is an extremely detailed and wide-ranging report with almost 40 recommendations covering areas from sustainability to design and I’m impressed with the detailed thinking and concrete roadmap it proposes."