The SDS Local Authority Seminar 2019

The SDS CPD accredited Local Authority Seminar on Wednesday 27th February was a great success. The day had just started when we had an unexpected fire alarm which was not a drill! We were hoping the chef hadn’t burned our lunch!

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John Stevens our chairman Session 1 kicked off with Shadi Brazell, advisor to James Murray, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development at the Greater London Authority. She shared the Mayor of London’s thoughts and beliefs on how to help the housing crisis and creative uses of grant.

Simon Theobald – Head of Finance, at the London Borough of Hackney provides development finance advice for the in-house delivery regeneration programme. Simon shared his thoughts on how to understand the financial impact of the development challenges and how this has enabled them to deliver successful and viable regeneration schemes. He also covered the very hot topic of how the removal of the LA debt cap has impacted development.

This flowed nicely into Ian Hutchcroft from Energiesprong Uk’s presentation on net zero energy retrofit and new build, adapting the Dutch Energiesprong approach for the UK market.

 

Following our morning coffee break, Dave Baptise from Ealing council gave us an overview of the opportunities and challenges for building council houses from a development perspective. With 600 new council homes built since 2011 and 9 major estate regeneration projects. Ealing is looking to provide 2,500 new ‘genuinely affordable homes delivered by 2022 from their expanded programme.

Neil Toner and Jonathan Jarvis from Devonshire Solicitors who kindly sponsor SDS Seminars focused on the rise of council housing, specifically how local authorities establish wholly owned subsidiary with the object of delivering residential development. Projects funded by a combination of equity and debt, before moving onto discuss how sites are either acquired from the LA at open market value or acquired on the open market.

Pascale Mézac, lead author of the NHF service charges guide to housing associations, took to the stage to go through how service charge strategy impacts on development. This was a practical look at making the links between the day to day work and building new homes. The key points being; having a plan, understanding service charges, funding chargeable services now and in the future and ensuring sustainable communities.

After a lovely networking lunch Greg Warner-Harris SDS consultant who has worked in the low cost and assisted home ownership sector since 1997. Greg and his teams have been responsible for bringing over 2,000 New-Build Shared Ownership and other intermediate purchase products to market. Greg showed us how to fast track shared ownership sales capability, how to identify the gaps and whether to close them internally or externally.

Mark Baigent the current interim Divisional Director of Housing and Regeneration for Tower Hamlets, chair of the London Housing Directors Group and Director of PLACE Ltd covered how to make the best use of diverse funding sources to boost LA new build including the product and tenure options in the market.

This flowed well into Savills Steve Partridge specialises in working to bring investors and housing providers together to introduce new and innovative ways to bring private finance at scale into the development of affordable housing. Flexibility in delivery due to the potential growing all the time – debt cap release adds to the options BUT a few barriers remain, Steve, covered RTB, RTB receipts and regeneration; redefining “additionality”.

‘The SDS seminar was brilliant – it was well organised, well structured, with excellent speakers and was (in my personal opinion) the most instructive and informative day seminar I have attended for many a year. I have taken so much good stuff from the day, which will help me deliver my development priorities at Sedgemoor. Thank for inviting me.’

Duncan Harvey – Sedgemoor District Council

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