Overwhelming support for plans to boost homes across the North

February 8th, 2019 in Home Group News

Homes for the North

Leading figures from housing, business and industry joined MPs this week to support a new housing charter that experts claim is central to the north becoming an economic giant once again.

Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry, and Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey, welcomed plans by Homes for the North to put good quality houses at the heart of the northern growth agenda and to integrate housing and transport infrastructure more closely.

Politicians were joined by sector leaders to hear outline plans by the group - made up of 17 of the largest housing associations across the north of England, including Home Group – that will improve the housing situation in the region.

The charter sets out four key asks that could help boost the northern economy:

  • Asking Government to adopt a target of at least 50,000 homes per year in the north
  • A requirement that local authorities in the north align their Local Industrial Strategies with housing supply plans
  • The establishment of a powerful pan-northern body charged with ensuring that housing and infrastructure are planned together over the long term
  • A new type of ‘renewal deal’ between government, combined and local authorities, and housing associations that would focus on, combining existing investment streams in housing, transport, and local economic development

Homes for the North is focussed on tackling the shortage of affordable homes in the region, as well as commissioning research to influence policy and decision makers and effect change.

Speaking at the charter’s launch in Parliament, Jake Berry, said: “This report demonstrates what is at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse. It is about cooperation, and one of the most eye-catching things in this report is about creating that housing cooperation group across the North of England.

“Now the government will take the report away and look at it… we will respond to the report, but let’s not wait for the government’s permission to do anything. Let’s get on with it. We are for the North, we are from the North and we want to create the homes we need.”

Homes for the North also used the event, which was attended by 30 cross-party MPs, to unveil plans for a major new research project which will set out how out how strategic investments in housing and infrastructure could deliver major benefits for the northern economy. 

The research, which will be undertaken by economics consultancy the Centre for Economics and Business Research, and supported by Transport for the North, is expected to be published in the Spring. It will build on the Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review published in 2016, which revealed how pursuing the Northern Powerhouse Vision could deliver a ‘transformational economic growth scenario’, including 1.5 million new jobs and an additional £97bn in GVA by 2050.