New Research from CIH, First Wessex, Sentinel and Altair

Gemma Duggan is  delighted to be involved in new research which will deliver a practical guide on how councils and housing associations can work together more effectively.

A new national research project will explore the relationship between local authorities and housing associations resulting in the publication of a practical guide for both sets of organisations.

‘Building Together’ is the focus of a major national research project that will cover key issues of land and supply, allocations and homelessness, and rents and affordability.

The project is led by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and housing associations First Wessex and Sentinel (soon to merge and become VIVID). The research will result in a practical guide with case studies on how local authorities and housing associations can make the most of their combined strong resources to tackle the nation’s housing crisis.

The report will build on CIH’s ongoing programme of regional roundtables involving local authorities and housing associations to look specifically at this issue.

Terrie Alafat CBE, CIH chief executive, said: “Housing associations and local authorities have a long tradition of working positively together. The government’s new commitment to tackle our housing crisis, outlined in its white paper, makes it more important than ever that the benefits of this relationship are maximised so that we can build the homes and communities we need

“We’re delighted to be able to lead on this research which will allow us to explore in detail best practice examples of housing associations and local authorities working together and explore some of the obstacles to effective partnership working. It will result in a practical guide for local authorities and housing associations to really make the most of their work together.”

Peter Walters, chief executive of First Wessex, said: “Tackling the housing shortfall is a real moral duty. This research will provide solutions so we can together make a significant contribution to increasing the speed of build and supply of new homes. We’re delighted to play a major role in this research given our strong record of partnership working with local authorities.”

Mark Perry, chief executive of Sentinel, said: “There’s a huge opportunity for housing associations to set out their offer to local authorities as development partners of choice. We understand the pressures on councils and have found innovative ways to continue building homes of all tenures, with a particular ambition to build even more for social rent when we become VIVID.”

Around 300 housing associations and local authorities (including ALMOs) will be surveyed by consultancy Altair who will also provide technical input.

The report will be written by Ross Fraser, John Perry, CIH senior policy advisor and Gemma Duggan from housing consultancy Altair, with legal insight being provided by Trowers & Hamlins.

The report will be published in the autumn.