top of page

Altair Development Capacity Study Launch 6 December 2013

PRESS RELEASE – Friday 6 December 2013


Called “Another 5,500 Homes and Counting – the Sum of Small Developments” Smaller housing associations call for small sites and grant, to launch much-needed development programmes in the capital.

Smaller housing associations could have untapped capacity to build almost 5,500 new homes in London over the next ten years, a new report has shown.

The survey of smaller housing associations was carried out by Altair and commissioned by g320, a group of sixty four smaller London housing associations that each own around 1,000 homes.

The report found that of the twenty four g320 associations surveyed, there is potential capacity to develop around 5,500 homes between them in the next ten years – with that potential being even higher, if the findings are extrapolated to include all sixty four members of g320. The report also highlights that g320 organisations have a significant appetite for development and that, with the removal of some historic barriers, smaller organisations are ready, and able, to build more homes.

Many g320 members specialise in providing homes for vulnerable people, and specialise in supported housing, sheltered housing for older people and care homes, as well as general needs. New homes such as these could play a crucial part in easing the London housing crisis, with 809,000 new homes needed in the capital by 20211 and over 360,000 on the housing waiting list.(²)

In London:

 The population has grown twice as fast as the number of homes in the last 13 years.(³) Private rents are set to rise 51% in ten years, from £1,346 per month in 2012 to £2,027 per month in 2022.(4) House prices are set to rise 60% in ten years, from £430,900 in 2012 to £687,900 in 2022.(5)

The report warns, however, that smaller housing associations may not be able to build these new homes without better access to land, and some level of Government grant.

The report calls for:

Support from GLA, London Councils and other larger HAs to establish a site “Clearing House” that enabled development of smaller sites that are less attractive to larger associations but are good for smaller organisationsSupport from the GLA to encourage smaller HAs to become more actively involved with grant funded development and to access the available grantA greater degree of collaboration between organisations to share their development expertise

John Delahunty, chief executive of Innisfree Housing Association and chair of g320, said: “London is facing a massive housing crisis and smaller housing associations are ready and willing to play their part in tackling this. This report is proof that smaller housing associations can be key development partners in London, with the potential to build thousands of new homes for Londoners. From the survey, we feel that there is the potential for between 2,000 and 5,500 homes to be built. What we need now is better access to smaller sites, those not generally attractive to larger housing associations, and a contribution from the Mayor in grant funding.  I hope that other development partners will work with us to make this happen.”

Kevin Williamson, Head of Policy at the National Housing Federation, said: “This new report shows that smaller housing associations have the capacity and appetite to play an important role in building the homes London so desperately needs. We hope it will encourage development partners across the capital to sit up and take notice of the very real potential on offer here.”

The report’s author, Steve Douglas from Altair, said: “London’s acute housing need means that every contribution can make a difference and we found an appetite from g320 associations to play their part. They just need the right support from GLA, local authorities and larger associations” ENDS

For comment or more information, call Mike Wilkins – CEO Ducane Housing Association and g320 Treasurer – on 0208 735 4995  or Steve Douglas –Altair – on 0207 934 0175.

1. Analysis of CLG and GLA data, G320 Development Capacity Review, Altair, November 2013. 2. London Home Truths 2012, National Housing Federation, November 2013. 3. London population has increased 8% while amount of housing has increased 4% over the past 13 years. g320 Development Capacity Review, Altair, November 2013. 4. London Home Truths 2012, National Housing Federation, November 2013. 5. London Home Truths 2012, National Housing Federation, November 2013.

Editorial notes The Development Capacity Review was written and researched for g320 by Altair. The report analyses the balance sheet capacity of a the survey associations using their latest published accounts and extrapolating the results using industry standard assumptions on costs.

g320 represents smaller housing associations working in London and has commissioned this research.  g320 members are already providing new homes in London but wanted to identify what added capacity could be delivered with some further removal of barriers to growth.

Altair was established in 2011 and have worked with over 180 organisations. We are experts with a wealth of experience of top-level management in the local government, housing association, private, public and voluntary sectors. We help manage complex and diverse organisations through periods of significant change, driving service improvement and delivering creative solutions.

Click here for the full study  g320 Development Capacity Review Dec 2013


bottom of page