The NHC key asks of the next government include 10-year funding deals for regeneration and retrofit

The Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) has put forward its offer to the next government, which includes a focus on regeneration and ‘a retrofit revolution’ to decarbonise the north of England’s older, colder homes.

Tracy Harrison

Source: Northern Housing Consortium

Tracy Harrison, chief executive of the Northern Housing Consortium

The membership organisation for local authorities, ALMOs and housing associations in the north of England has today published its priorities for a partnership between the government and NHC members up to 2035.

Tracy Harrison, chief executive of the NHC, has emphasised that a new partnership with the next government and a commitment to long-term investment is needed to build social homes and deliver thousands of green jobs.

The NHC’s proposals for the partnership include delivering up to 320,000 homes on the North’s brownfield land, through a 10-year £4.2bn fund delivered through the mayoral combined authorities.

To deliver new social homes, the NHC has called on the next government to announce a new long-term Affordable Homes Programme (AHP)within its first 100 days in office.

The NHC has said the AHP should offer greater flexibility to support regeneration projects and give mayoral combined authorities more control over the allocation and use of funds in local areas, with social rent as the predominant tenure.

The consortium has also advocated for devolving key aspects of the Right to Buy policy to local authorities, enabling them to set discounts locally and retain all receipts for spending within their areas.

The NHC has said it will unlock 77,000 good green jobs across the North through a phased 10-year investment in the decarbonisation of homes in the North.

To achieve this, it has said the government would need to invest £500 million a year to meet EPC C by 2030, and £1 billion a year up to 2035 to make meaningful progress towards net-zero.

The consortium has also called for retrofit funding for all housing tenures to be devolved to the mayoral combined authorities in the North, to enable a place-based approach to domestic retrofit.

To ensure that people across the North of England have a good-quality home to live in, has proposed the establishment of a new Decent Homes Standard for both the social and private rented sectors.

It has said this should be backed by a new financial settlement for social housing providers, including a guarantee that rents in the social sector can increase by up to Consumer Price Index +1% over the next decade, enabling the sector to implement necessary improvements.

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Tracy Harrison, chief executive of the Northern Housing Consortium said: “Housing associations, local authorities and ALMOs own 1.3m homes across the North. Social housing providers already make a huge contribution to local economies across the North, delivering around 60,000 new homes over the last five years, supporting over 70,000 jobs, and creating great places for people to live.”

Harrison added: “However, we need to go much further and faster to tackle some of the challenges we face in the diverse housing markets we have across the North. That’s why we need a new partnership with Government, with a commitment to long-term investment. This will create the certainty needed to deliver new homes, refurbish existing ones, unlock brownfield land for up to 320,000 homes, as well as creating 77,000 green jobs through decarbonising the North’s older, colder homes.

“There is much to do but we and our members stand ready to work in partnership with the next Government to create great homes, great places, and a new generation of green jobs.”