Housing associations are set to build a record number of homes next year, but sector figures have warned that political instability could derail development ambitions.
Inside Housing’s exclusive Top 50 Biggest Builders Survey found that the country’s 50 largest developing landlords predict they will build 42,278 homes in 2019/20. If achieved, this would be the most new homes delivered by the top 50 developing associations since the start of the first Affordable Homes Programme in 2010.
The figure looks even more impressive when taking into account that L&Q, the association that built by far the most homes in 2018/19, was unable to provide exact figures for its 2019/20 pipeline.
However, optimism about a potential step change in delivery volume has been tempered by warnings that the continuing political uncertainty over Brexit and the policy direction of a new prime minister could stymie progress if there is no certainty over future funding.
Will Jeffwitz, policy leader at the National Housing Federation, said: “It feels like it’s going in the right direction but it’s not certain, and without new and substantial government investment you can imagine it falling off again in the next few years.
“It’s promising but it’s fragile without government coming in behind it.”
The current Affordable Homes Programme ends in 2021 and there is no guarantee of what funding will be available once it comes to an end. There is more certainty, however, for Homes England and the Greater London Authority’s strategic partners, which will share combined funding of around £3.4bn up to 2022.
The Top 50 Biggest Builders Survey data tables allow you to find out which organisations completed the most homes for social rent, affordable rent, intermediate rent and low-cost homeownership last year. They also give detailed development pipeline figures.
This year’s data also ranks organisations according to homes built using modern methods of construction.