The ’social housing crisis’ – how can the private property market help?

The Chartered Institute of Housing’s (CIH) latest annual conference, Housing 2018, is well under way in Manchester city centre and top of the agenda is rethinking the social housing structure.

A clear thread throughout the event is that the ongoing negative stereotype surrounding social housing is harmful and needs to be addressed if the UK is to reframe the sector as ’an essential pillar of the community’. This was the desired outcome put forward by CIH’s chief executive, Terrie Alafat, in her speech on the opening day.

As our portfolio suggests, our outlook on social housing is incredibly progressive and we propose that acknowledgment of the crisis from private property developers, and their help going forward, is imperative if we are to solve the key issues.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, gave his thoughts at Housing 2018, proclaiming that ’we need to get back to building homes that people can afford.’ We couldn’t agree more, which is why we invest so much of our time in assisting social housing specialists in the region.

A subsidiary of HS Property Group, Housing Social Ltd, is our specialist property development company dedicated to delivering stock that caters for the needs of local authorities and landlords. Through this project, we have been able to work closely alongside registered providers and local authorities, including Manchester City Council, to provide high quality affordable properties for tenants.

Our services are tailor-made to the individual requirements of our partners, which allows tenants to benefit from the best possible service. Furthermore, we focus on up keeping the standard of homes through effective, responsive repairs and maintenance along with systematic monthly inspections. This ensures a significant return on all rental investments.

In addition to this, we work collaboratively with providers to try to tackle the negative reputation continually placed on social homes and the tenants occupying them. We aim to maximise the independence of tenants, while still providing comfort, safety and support.

Almost all of our properties are newly developed or recently converted buildings, and typically form part of a community of supported living properties within a much larger scheme. Our homes are located in safe, clean, residential neighbourhoods and are situated within close proximity to transport links, shops, statutory services and other amenities.

Through progressive action over the last four years, we have ensured that hundreds of people in Greater Manchester have been able to access superlative homes within their financial budgets. And with the continuation of this project, we like to think that we’re playing an essential role in removing the social housing stigma for the 3.9 million people currently utilising it.