Housing association says build hit by planning delays, materials shortages and pandemic impacts but is confident of hitting five-year target

EMH Group built 60% of its targeted homes in 2021/22 as it battled planning delays and materials shortages, its latest accounts show.

The east Midlands-based housing association completed 343 homes in the year but was originally aiming for 550.

It said: “This shortfall is largely due to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and Ukrainian crisis as materials and resource become harder to secure coupled with delays on planning being awarded therefore delaying start on site.”

The 21,000-home association said however that it has a pipeline of 1,139 new homes in the year, up from 802 in 2020/21. It said it is confident of meeting its target of building 2,750 new homes over five years to 2023, although it is now “slightly behind schedule” following the delays.

EMH’s annual surplus fell by nearly a third from £16.2m to £11.1m, with its operating surplus falling from £37.9m to £31.8m. The surplus drop was in part due to increased spend on existing stock. The group’s average cost per social housing unit rose 19% as it embarked on a major repairs programme.

It said: “Although [the operating surplus is] £6m lower than 2021 this is a healthy result in the current environment. The increase in turnover has been far exceeded by increased operating costs as we focus on ensuring our homes and communities are the best standard achievable.”

The group’s turnover was broadly flat at £121.7m, compared to £122.6m the previous year.

EMH group, in a joint bid with fellow housing associations Midland Heart and Futures Housing Group, last year secured a £171.7m allocation through Homes England’s strategic partnership programme to build 3,551 homes.

Housing association financial statements 2021/22

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