As this year's conference draws to a close, we have been looking at some of the key themes that have come out of the NHF Summit 2018.

Unless you have been in a dark hole, you can't have missed Teresa May's appearance at the conference yesterday morning to announce an extra £2bn of funding towards new housing developments.  The funding can be deployed until 2028/29, to support longer term planning.

But what else came out of the conference?   Some of the key points that we picked up include:

1.  Management of social housing is just as important as building - not least to remove any stigma of social housing.

2. Strategic partnerships are more important than ever to increase development.  These need to be more than just contracts, based on flexibility and implicit trust.

3.  RPs should look at their business planning in the context of the new political environment, which supports long term planning.  Although has the Government done enough here?

4.  New compulsory purchase powers and funding models are needed to help deliver increased development.

5.  Tenant empowerment is crucial, and needs to start at ground level to ensure proper engagement.  Steer clear of paternalism.

6.  "For profit" providers are here to stay, and we should embrace new funders to the sector.  Careful checks on the ethics of parties, and the structures proposed, are essential.  The Regulator may well issue a code of conduct on this.  We are working with a number of clients in this space, so get in touch with us if you need support.  

It is encouraging that the political mood has changed to one of co-operation with the sector, but now the onus is on RPs to ensure that we embrace the opportunities given and  strive to exceed expectations - both in terms of building more homes, and in improving the experience of residents.