46,000-home housing association development figure is 22% lower than its original target

Platform Housing Group completed 1,174 homes in 2021/22, 22% lower than its original target

The 46,000-home housing association, in a trading update this morning, revealed it built 1,174 homes in the financial year. This is lower than the 1,500 originally forecast in its accounts last year.

Clarence Park

Platform’s Clarence Park Village scheme in Malvern

In November, the association dropped its expected development figure for the year to between 1,300 and 1,400 homes due to “materials shortages and supply chain delays”, but the eventual figure of 1,174 is lower again.

Gerraint Oakley, executive director for growth and development, said: ”Unfortunately we were subject to numerous delays and stoppages in the planning system. Combined with the impact of covid on the returning workforce, which led to a severe shortage of labour, we weren’t quite able to meet our initial targets.

”Economic conditions continue to have an impact on materials and supply chain and we’re looking at what action we can take to prevent further delays.”

It says development will remain at similar levels next year.

Oakley said Platform would be able to “almost” hit its target of building 9,000 homes in the next five years, including 4,680 through the group’s £250m strategic partnership deal with Homes England.

He said: ”We have been working hard researching more modern methods of construction and finding more land-led opportunities that give us more control over the speed and quality that we deliver.”

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The trading update also revealed Platform has increased its turnover by 10% to £296.9m, although its net surplus reduced 21% to £44.4m due to “one-off depreciation and loan breakage costs”.

Elizabeth Froude, chief executive of Platform, said: “Our core business is delivering good surpluses and cash generation, and our sales team have continued to maintain a high level of reserves for any units not sold at the end of the year. We also continue to acquire development sites to facilitate our new homes aspirations and commitments to Homes England as a strategic partner.

“As we close a very variable year in terms of operating environment, we, like many others, are dealing with a number of challenges and whilst clearing maintenance backlogs, are also managing increasingly difficult supply chains and cost increases for our future property investment.”