Discussions were buzzing at the “Does Size Matter? Developing in Partnership” roundtable for Winmark’s Affordable Housing Network this afternoon.
The conversations could have continued all night - it was great to see so many passionate people from the housing sector in the room.
Some of the key points included:
1. RPs should not lose sight of development. Only by growing can each organisation better achieve its aims - although that key aim may not be increasing affordable housing supply.
2. Smaller RPs need to address the problems associated with development: board risk appetite; mobilisation costs; development risk; competition for sites; abortive costs etc. The Board must understand these risks and buy in specialist advice where necessary.
3. Partnerships and joint ventures are crucial for development by smaller RPs. For example, JVs with local authorities, developers, larger RPs etc. But also partnerships/collaborations between smaller RPs to strengthen their voice, and to reduce competition for s106 sites which increases land prices.
4. Smaller RPs have a key role in helping larger RPs to deliver their social purpose.
5. The future is bright as new innovations are expected to reduce development risk - for example off-site modular construction.
Against the backdrop of housing taking political centre stage, smaller RPs have a key role to play that should not be overlooked.