A new alliance of housing associations has launched, bringing together 20 mutual and housing groups in the north of England.
‘Homes for the North’ will work with a wide range of organisations to raise public awareness of housing policy challenges. It will also attempt to inform regional and national policy makers about how to create more and better homes and communities.
Founder members of the alliance include the co-owned mutual housing society Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), Liverpool Mutual Homes, and other societies registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Society Act such as Home Group, and Incommunities.
Homes for the North collectively owns or manages 455,000 homes for nearly one million people across the north of England – one in three of all social rented homes in the area.
A statement from Homes for the North said: “Good quality homes are the bedrock of a strong economy and thriving communities. Yet across the North, not enough good homes are being built.
“We passionately believe that improving the supply and quality of homes in the North will lead to economic growth, higher living standards, increased home ownership and stronger communities where people can meet their aspirations.”
As well as raising awareness of housing issues, Homes for the North will also commission research and share expertise and best practice in the social housing sector. This will enable them to inform policy makers regionally and nationally on how best to create the conditions required for more and better homes. The aim is to extend home ownership in the north of England and make the area a more attractive place for businesses to invest.
Gareth Swarbrick, RBH chief executive, said: “It is vital that housing associations across the North have a strong and unified voice that allows us to influence national policies so that they work for the communities we serve.”