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Writing housing history

Dec 12 2016

Last week will go down in housing history.

In the week we completed our East Thames/L&Q merger Affinity Sutton and Circle launched Clarion, the newly merged 127,000 home housing association, and Peabody announced its intention to merge with Family Mosaic to create a new 55,000 home housing association. Also in the pipeline are Amicus Horizon and Viridian, and who knows who else is talking. G15 is becoming like a school disco. One by one we are pairing up.

Take a look at Clarion’s launch video. It talks of scale, ambition, boldness; a new chapter for housing.

Last week I attended my first Homes For Londoners board meeting. With Sadiq Khan chairing, around the table sat four local authority leaders, two housebuilders, the TFL boss and me. Together we have pledged to set aside our parochial differences to deliver a step change in housing supply in the Capital. With Sadiq’s stated aim to deliver 90,000 affordable home starts by 2021 this is a massive commitment. If affordable starts represent 50% of all new homes, we are talking 180,000 starts in total; if affordable housing ends up being a lower percentage of the total, say 35%, then we are talking 270,000 homes in total.

It has been a very long time since people from across all sectors in London sat around a table and made a commitment on this scale. I was beginning to think it wouldn't happen during my career. But I think it just did.

I ended the week chairing a meeting of g15. It really feels like housing associations are stepping forward. But it will take all of us, not just a bunch of housing association chief executives, if we are going to end the housing crisis in London.

Last week we wrote housing history. Now we have to deliver.

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