Author: jbenniman

Land-Led Schemes Webinar

Land-Led Schemes

Understanding the risks of Land-Led Schemes

On the 24th of March Andrew and Chris were joined by Steve Trenwith and Steve Aleppo from Sovereign HA. 5 years ago Sovereign were delivering 1500 homes per year via Section 106. To improve the value for money, the board made the decision to begin their own land-led schemes. We discussed Sovereign’s journey and learnings, followed by a Q&A with John Stevens and Duncan Smith. 

Key points we covered:

  • Risk/Reward: land-led vs. Section 106
  • Critical-to-success factors in land-led development
  • Lessons learned
  • Common pitfalls

Speakers

Steve Trenwith

Steve Trenwith

Stephen has worked for house builders for the past 30 years starting his career as a site engineer before concentrating on land and development.
He has worked for the likes of Persimmon Homes and the Berkeley Group as well as regional developer Bewley Homes.
He brings his experience of securing development sites across the South of England into Sovereign, to help drive forward a programme of securing land to underpin the aspirations to develop more than 1,900 units a year.

Steve Aleppo

Steve Aleppo

Steve started his career in the housing sector with the Hyde Group in 2000. He progressed through Hyde’s Development Finance, Group Financial Planning and Strategy teams, before taking on executive level roles for Finance and then Corporate Services.
Steve became a consultant in 2018 before Sovereign in 2019. Steve has built a team that is helping to put plans and controls in place to enable Sovereign to grow its development programme and weight its activity more towards land-led schemes.

Duncan Smith

Duncan Smith

Duncan has more than 20 years of experience as a housing professional, with established credentials in the public, private and third sector. He has extensive experience of operational service delivery as well as strategic planning and effective business development

John Stevens

John Stevens

John is very experienced in everything viability and assumptions, having worked in the sector for over 30 years. Mixing technical knowledge with financial evaluation, he has consistently delivered innovative solutions across the affordable housing spectrum.

Andrew Markham

Andrew Markham

Andrew’s experience lies in both the affordable and private housing sectors. His expertise focuses on financial viability and project management.
Andrew is the director of the SDS consultancy division and leads a team of well-established consultants providing professional services and consultancy expertise.
The ProVal expert within SDS, Andrew helps our clients implement best practice across the entire development phase has played an integral role in propelling SDS to the industry leader in viability.

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Local Authority Development

Are you developing a HA?

Over the past two years, the sector has seen significant growth in the number of Local Authorities who have their own development departments, but how have they fared?

Our panel of Local Authority developers covered:

  • What have been the main challenges?
  • What does the Homes England strategic partners programme mean to you? 
  • What does the future hold for LA development?
  • Does “Right to buy” impact current development plans?
  • Lessons learnt since beginning development projects.

Speakers

Joanne Drew

Joanne Drew

Is the Director of Housing and Regeneration, focused on joining up the strategies for housing, homelessness and regeneration across the Council. This includes working with and through residents and the voluntary sector, tackling the housing crisis, poverty and social justice issues through accelerating the delivery of new homes and regenerated places, improving the quality of our council housing and working to eradicate homelessness and the use of temporary accommodation.

Andrew Palmer

Andrew Palmer

Andrew is currently the Service Lead - New Homes Delivery, at Winchester City Council. He has lead the Council's new build housing development programme since 2012 following the HRA reforms which allowed Councils the freedom to build again. Prior to this role, Andrew was Head of Strategic Housing at Winchester Council with responsibility for Homelessness, Enabling and Private Sector Housing.

Jane Abraham

Jane Abraham

Jane Abraham is currently the Interim Head of Capital Delivery at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, with responsibility for delivering an ambitious capital investment programme, a key part of which is the delivery of 2,000 new council homes. Jane has worked in social housing since the early 1990s, starting in housing management at Guildford Borough Council, before working in Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey and more recently for inner London authorities.

Neil Double

Neil Double

Neil is the Portfolio Viability Manager at Be First working across projects from new build residential, turnkey schemes, to commercial acquisitions. With over 10 years’ experience in housing, regeneration and development viability. Neil worked for a private consultancy before joining Be First in 2019.

Andrew Markham

Andrew Markham

Andrew’s experience lies in both the affordable and private housing sectors. His expertise focuses on financial viability and project management.

Andrew is the director of the SDS consultancy division and leads a team of well-established consultants providing professional services and consultancy expertise.

The ProVal expert within SDS, Andrew helps our clients implement best practice across the entire development phase has played an integral role in propelling SDS to the industry leader in viability.

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Shared ownership webinar

New Shared Ownership Model

The outcome of the November 2020 consultation on the New Shared Ownership model is highly anticipated. Details are expected in the 2021-2026 Affordable Housing programme bid guidance.

However, we were unable to receive more information before the 24th of February. Instead, Andrew Markham modelled several different scheme scenarios including:

S106
Land led schemes
Completing a residual land value in ProVal

Hopefully, it will be published in the near future and we’ll be able to provide you the reaction from Greg Warner-Harris and we will be interested to hear your views.

Speakers

Andrew Markham

Andrew Markham

Andrew’s experience lies in both the affordable and private housing sectors. His expertise focuses on financial viability and project management.

Greg Warner-Harris

Greg Warner-Harris

Greg has a wealth of Sales and Marketing experience in the affordable housing sector and has bought over 2000 New-Build Shared Ownership, Open Market and intermediate purchase products to market.

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Welsh Viability Webinar

Welsh Viability

What is special about Welsh social housing development?

On the 17th of February we delved into development viability specific to the Welsh social housing sector. Will the upcoming May elections impact your organisations’ approach to delivering affordable housing?

During this webinar we were joined by Neil Taylor from POBL, who helped explain how to navigate the challenges of housing development and viability in Wales. Aaron Hill from Community Housing Cymru would also provide us the CHC perspective as a representative of more than 70 Welsh Housing Associations.

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Land Value Webinar

Residual Land Value

Are you taking a commercial view on purchasing land?

On the 10th of February we were joined by Andrew Markham to learn how the private sector calculates Residual Land Value, and how you can be more competitive at land purchase.

Arming yourself with the knowledge of how your competition works, and how to optimise your scheme’s financial return by adopting a proactive approach to scheme design will help put you in a stronger position when it comes to bidding.

Using LandVal and ProVal, Andrew gave you his expertise on the different approaches commonly used to make these calculations, whilst demonstrating that when you have the right software – viability can be quite fun!

Speaker

Andrew Markham - Shelton Development Services

Andrew Markham - Shelton Development Services

Andrew’s experience lies in both the affordable and private housing sectors. His expertise focuses on financial viability and project management – ideal for today’s challenges in planning and building developments, making the most of available funding and cross-subsidy opportunities.

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Webinar new decent homes standard

The New Decent Homes Standard

Our webinar yesterday centred around Jonathan discussing the current Decent Homes Standards and giving a broad glimpse on how the new standard is shaping up focussing on 3 key areas:

  1. Holistic properties
  2. Carbon neutrality
  3. Green space

Devonshires Solicitors Partner Lee Russell commented extensively on the legal challenges around green space and how local authorities along with registered providers will need to work together alongside the private sector to achieve such goals.

One of the key pressures providers face is the balance of investment in new homes and existing stock, a question asset Director of LiveWest Nathan Cronk tackled head on by targeting smart regeneration schemes which could serve both new and existing stock.

Some excellent participation from the audience took us deeper into the nuances.

Speakers

Jonathon Walters - The Regulator

Jonathon Walters - The Regulator

Having previously been at Ernst and Young and in working in social housing consultancy, Jonathan has been at the Regulator since 2004. He has worked across the organisation and has extensive experience in dealing with funders, government and Registered Providers.

Nathan Cronk - Livewest

Nathan Cronk - Livewest

Nathan has worked in affordable housing since 1998, having previously worked for DCH before the merger with Knightstone to form LiveWest, Raglan Housing Association and Fosseway Housing Association (now part of Bromford Group). He started his career at Knightstone Housing Association. As LiveWest's Director of Asset Management, overseeing a property portfolio of over 38,000 homes.

Andrew Markham - Shelton Development Services

Andrew Markham - Shelton Development Services

Andrew’s experience lies in both the affordable and private housing sectors. His expertise focuses on financial viability and project management – ideal for today’s challenges in planning and building developments, making the most of available funding and cross-subsidy opportunities.

Lee Russell - Devonshires

Lee Russell - Devonshires

Lee advises on all aspects of housing management and property litigation, regularly advising private organisations, land owners, developers, investors, charities, local authorities and some of the largest providers of social housing in the United Kingdom.

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Shared ownership webinar

New Shared Ownership model

Are your schemes viable under the new guidelines? The technical consultation model for Shared Ownership was published in November 2020, proposing to reduce the minimum initial share from 25% to 10%.

Our previous webinar on the 27th of January saw Christopher Wandel and SDS viability expert Andrew Markham take you through how to model the impact of these different scenarios using ProVal.

This webinar delved into the key viability measures that will change as a result of adjusting the equity share on your development schemes.

Sales & Marketing Workshop

Our Workshops to introduce you to Shared Ownership and to write your own Sales Policy. 

Assess your resources for successful Sales & Marketing, taking into account:

  • Regulation & governance
  • Market appraisals
  • Sales & marketing management toolkit
  • SDS HomeMatch
  • Branding Do’s and Don’ts

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Selling shared ownership

Selling shared ownership, how to match people to properties.

Many housing associations and local authorities have embraced shared ownership tenures into their development plans, but selling and marketing is very different to allocating social or affordable rent. How do you manage leads, applications and find the most suitable properties?

The Sales and Marketing strategy for shared ownership should start with a capability audit to determine what needs to be done, what resources the organisation has, and where the gaps are. The marketing plan and sales strategy can then be created with reference to the available resources and target audience, giving the best chance of achieving the organisation’s sales ambitions. 

As a prospective customer, we all know there’s nothing worse than being sent and shown marketing materials for things we can’t afford. The same goes for a property, so the sales process needs to tailor marketing campaigns to target only those individuals who meet the affordability criteria.

Typically, the seller takes only a small role in assessing affordability, leaving the customer to figure it out along with the help of the bank or mortgage advisor. With Shared Ownership, we need to take a more active role. Homes England (formerly HCA) requires organisations who offer Shared Ownership through a registered programme to assess purchasers financial capacity, and have created the Homes England Sustainability Calculator to assist sellers in this process. This spreadsheet based calculator seeks to ensure the purchaser buys as much equity as they can afford, but without over-stretching themselves. 

For those looking to adopt a more modern approach and avoid spreadsheets, there is dedicated software available to help organisations with not only the affordability assessment, but also the rest of the sale process from managing leads and matching applicants to properties, to issuing and tracking all the required sale documentation. 

SDS HomeMatch is a hybrid workflow/CRM tool, that can assist in all types of sale, but has been tailored to facilitate Shared Ownership ‘out of the box’. It has the Homes England Sustainability Calculator methodology embedded, allowing ‘one click’ affordability assessment of all the properties in the database against any given application. Once the group of affordable properties is displayed, HomeMatch will allow filtering of the results to show properties by development or geography (eg by postcode or distance from a location). 

The Sales teams can easily modify calculator inputs at any point in the sales process, such as equity share, deposit, mortgage interest rate and term etc. This enables the sales team to offer a suitable package to the customer and update it should circumstances change.

Once the sale has been agreed HomeMatch will also help manage the sale process, create all the required documents, eg memo of sale, CML, solicitor letters etc. HomeMatch also provides reports and a dashboard. This frees up your sales team to focus on what they do best….. Selling homes.

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Laura Matthews

Laura Matthews

Laura is SDS Marketing Manager specialising in digital, social and content marketing. Her passion for helping people in all aspects of marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage she provides. Her work involves overseeing all aspects of SDS marketing including online, offline and events. Promoting; development appraisal, land valuation, development viability amongst many other areas.

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/laura-matthews-sds/ or follow on Twitter @LauraSDS.

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2021 webinar

Sector Forecast 2021

As we enter 2021, still in the midst of a global pandemic, government restrictions will continue to push us to be more dynamic in our way of working and delivering social housing.

Hosted by Christopher Wandel on 27th January the webinar started with SDS CEO, Phil Shelton sharing his plans for the ProVal and Sequel cloud roll out over 2021/2022.

Up next was Alex Rose, Director of New Homes from Zoopla, who gave us an overview of what he is seeing in the market today. He discussed the demand for homes is at unprecedented levels, but supply is falling short. As a result of this prices are being pushed up. Alex also commented on:

  • Wealthier / older demographics are the beneficiaries and more likely to move
  • Demand for rental products are also up but faces supply issues
  • The number of people priced out of ownership is likely to widen

Following that, well known London based consultant, Mark Baigent discussed 3 key non COVID related challenges this year: 

  1. Planning for the new building Safety regulatory regime
  2. Gearing up to deliver zero carbon and 
  3. Continuing to push ahead with affordable housing

Mark’s focus was on the interrelationships between these three priorities and financial pressures across the piece ultimately asking the tough questions:

What is the right balance between investment in new housing and existing stock?

What are the advantages/perils of UK housing organisations adopting zero carbon technology now?

Jo Fallon, Assistant Development Director of WeaverVale covered:

  • The New Affordable Homes Programme; Shared Ownership reforms
  • Increasing the delivery of home ownership products during this market uncertainty
  • The potential impact of planning reforms to affordable housing delivery and the need to diversify our procurement of schemes
  • Challenges around rising construction costs and the drive to improve the quality of our homes and neighbourhoods (referencing the climate change agenda)

Jo highlights the key question:
Is the Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) industry ready to scale up?

The audience showed concern over Stamp Duty holiday extension, lenders insisting on EWS1 surveys and sqm costs rising.

If you missed it you can watch the recording below….

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How will you sell your homes now

Housing stock quality and future investment needs

The stock of over 4 million social homes in the Country are a vital asset and the foundation to the business of registered providers.

However, the need for increased investment to meet the requirements of Building Safety, Zero Carbon and a revised Decent Homes Standard, means more resources will be invested in them over the next 10-15 years than they have for the previous decade.

We were delighted to hear from Keynote speaker Jonathan Walters on how providers are meeting this challenge, on the risk associated with the existing stock in a world of rising customer expectations and a need for continued construction of new social homes to meet the housing crisis. Also joining us were industry experts Helen Spencer, Duncan Smith and Joy Whinnerah. 

Our panel covered:

– How providers are meeting this challenge

– The risk associated with the existing stock in a world of rising customer expectations

– A need for continued construction of new social homes to meet the housing crisis

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