With just two years left until the end of the 2016/21 Shared Ownership Affordable Homes Programme, for development consortiums such as JV North and our supply chains it’s future certainty that is now most keenly craved in order that we can plan effectively for the future and maintain momentum.
The history lesson we need to learn is that we do not delay and lose valuable capacity in the system again.
Cast your mind back to the 2008/09 credit crunch and the aftershock that saw a significant number of experienced people leave the construction and housing sectors with builders in particular still facing serious challenges to find enough high quality trades people to deliver schemes.
In order to build the number of homes required to meet demand over the coming years, we simply cannot afford another slow down.
Central to housing associations being able to build more is a thriving labour market and a buoyant construction sector of large and small companies we can call on to deliver schemes of all sizes.
JV North has taken steps to counter this risk by supporting SME contractors through a specialist lot on our framework for schemes £1m-and-under with a pool of 51 (and growing) local companies to select from.
This, along with a lot for schemes over £1m featuring some of the biggest contractors and consultants in the UK, means we are geared up to get on-site and deliver very quickly.
Contractor engagement is vital, which is why we are holding a consultation session with them this month to maximise opportunities in our framework and to understand the challenges they face.
While April 2021 seems some way off, from a development perspective it is actually a very small window in which to operate and it’s already starting to prove restrictive.