Home Truths podcast: In conversation with Peter Freeman at Homes England


Episode 1: The Swiss Army Knife – Homes England chair talks to Jackie Sadek and Peter Bill about the importance of housing targets, reforms to planning and investing in MMC. Listen and read extracts here

Peter Freeman, chair of Homes England, is the guest in today’s first episode of Building Talk’s latest series which is focused on the housing crisis and is co-hosted by Jackie Sadek and Peter Bill.

Freeman, who has been in post over two years having been recently reappointed until 2025, is widely known in the industry as co-founder of Argent and instrumental in the redevelopment of King’s Cross. He is also chair of the Cambridge Delivery Group, announced by the government in the spring budget to drive growth and provide more housing for Cambridge.

As Homes England chair, he has responsibility for overseeing the agency’s strategy as well as the £11.5bn Affordable Homes Programme and the £1.8bn brownfield redevelopment fund, among other initiatives. Last summer the agency published its five-year strategic plan, shifting its focus towards regeneration, and in the past month it was the subject of an independent review by PwC’s Tony Poulter who endorsed its work while also outlining recommended improvements in how it operates, which Freeman describes as “very fair”.

In this wide-ranging interview, the podcast’s co-hosts wanted to find out what difference Homes England makes when it comes to boosting the supply of new homes. In Freeman’s own words, “despite the name, we don’t build any homes”, so what are the limits to the agency’s impact and influence? And how does Freeman believe it could do more in the future?

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