With over 40,000 North East households on the waiting list for social housing, there’s a desperate need to rapidly build more genuinely affordable homes across the region.
A group of North East based housing providers have joined forces to tackle this crisis head on and to support the Mayoral Combined Authority to deliver the social housing the region needs.
The North East Housing Partnership (NEHP), which launched this week, is made up of 17 North East social housing providers with a strong presence in the seven local authority areas covered by the new North East Mayoral Combined Authority.
NEHP partners consist of housing associations, local authorities and arms length management organisations (ALMOs). The partners are Karbon Homes, Bernicia, believe housing, Castles & Coasts, Gentoo, Thirteen, North Star, Home Group, Livin, Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association, Tyne Housing, Johnnie Johnson Housing, South Tyneside Homes, Gateshead Council, North Tyneside Council, Northumberland County Council, and Newcastle City Council.
Paul Fiddaman, Chair of the North East Housing Partnership, said: “As a partnership, we hold onto a simple belief that a house is more than just a roof over your head. It’s something you can build a life around. The evidence is clear that good quality homes is intrinsically linked with a number of social outcomes, such as education, health and employment, and devolution presents a significant opportunity to address these disparities and build our region better.
“With new powers and funding, managed and delivered close to local needs, we have the opportunity to take on some of the deep-seated problems that have long held us back.
“However, to make a real success of devolution, anchor institutions across the region need to get behind it, lend their enthusiasm and expertise, and align their own work and investment with that of the new combined authority. That’s what the North East Housing Partnership is all about.”
The partnership will be focusing on four key themes: Regeneration, development and placemaking, Net Zero and sustainability, employability and social inclusion and health, care and homelessness.
The partners will work collaboratively to deliver significant change in these working thematic areas, within which housing provides a starting point to wider social, environmental and economic outcomes, and will work closely with the newly elected mayor and the new combined authority to support with the delivery of its priorities.
John Johnson, Vice Chair of the North East Housing Partnership, said: “Through the partnership I hope to see housing providers from across the North East shift from a group of individual organisations, working in relative isolation, to a strong and unified partnership.
“When we invest together, work together, and plan together, we can achieve economies of scale, shape supply chains, regenerate communities, decarbonise our region, create and prepare people for jobs and support longer, healthier lives. If we align ourselves in each of these areas with the new combined authority, we can achieve even more.”
Combined, the 17 partners own and manage over 214,000 homes in the region, housing around one in six households in the new mayoral combined authority area.
The concept of the partnership mirrors that of similar partnerships in other combined authority areas, such as the Greater Manchester Housing Partnership and the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership.
Header image: Dame Norma Redfearn DBE addressing the audience at the launch of the NEHP prospectus.