This week’s government green paper on social housing recognises the urgent importance of creating a new supply of affordable homes. National Housing Federation research earlier this year revealed that between 2012 and 2016, nearly 36,000 too few homes were built in Yorkshire and Humber. Housing associations are doing lots of great work to alleviate that. In 2016/17 housing associations delivered over 2,000 new affordable and market-priced homes in Yorkshire and started a further 2,557. Here at LYHA we have an ambitious new-build strategy. Over the last two years we have built 157 much needed, affordable homes, increasing our portfolio by 15%. Despite our relatively small size we were ranked in the Top 10 of Inside Housing’s biggest builders (by percentage increase in stock not actual house numbers). Our focus is primarily on affordable rented homes but we have also begun to deliver a small number of shared ownership homes, which offers an affordable way for people who would not be able to afford to buy a house outright to get on the housing ladder.
Building new homes benefits our existing customers too as it generates extra money to reinvest in the repairs and maintenance of our existing homes. Delivering high quality homes that make a positive impact on people and communities within the Yorkshire region is our primary goal and we believe that everyone deserves access to a quality, affordable home.
We also welcome the commitment to encouraging meaningful dialogue with customers. Whilst recognising that we have still much to do in this area, we have recently created more opportunities for our customers to engage with us. We are holding regular drop-in events to meet customers at our various estates and discuss their priorities and concerns. We have also formed a new Customer Experience Committee and Scrutiny panel so that we can involve customers in helping us improve. The feedback gleaned for these forums is already proving immensely beneficial in shaping the organisation going forward.