An Ambition to Deliver is not a prescription or forecast, it is a collective offer across the sector, and our strength is in our different ambitions and our diversity. It is not:
Just about development
We admit there is a lot in An Ambition to Deliver about increasing housing supply, which is to be expected - there is a housing crisis and housing associations are a big part of the solution. We have said that by 2033 housing associations could double the number of homes they own and manage, building 120,000 homes a year. This is very ambitious and it will be a challenge, but we believe that with the right leadership and system in place it can be delivered.
But it isn’t just about building more homes – it is about how housing associations can do more and make a greater contribution, whether that is through extending their housing offer to meet a wider range of housing need, , providing health, care and support or education services, helping their tenants back into work or regenerating existing properties.
The end of social housing
We don’t use the term social housing in An Ambition to Deliver - not because we no longer want to provide homes for those in most need and forget our social purpose – but because we don’t want to be constrained by that term. When we talk about affordable housing, we mean housing that is truly affordable (and this will mean different things, in different places, for different tenants); not housing that is 80% of market rent as per the Government’s current definition. We talk proudly of being housing associations and having a real social purpose – and providing homes for those most in need is still very much part of that. But we can do much more and collectively provide homes across a range of tenures and price points.
Everyone must do market rent
Many housing associations will do more market rent and some won’t do any at all. An Ambition to Deliver doesn’t tell you exactly what you must do and how – it is for each housing association to decide how they can best serve their communities and met their own social purpose. But collectively, as a sector, we believe there is a real need to provide a quality market rent offer to meet a growing need for many people. If we don’t, who will?
No more subsidy
An Ambition to Deliver talks about what we must do ourselves – be more efficient, innovate, respond to local needs and, it is a challenge to the sector to take control of our own futures. However, it still recognises that we will need help from the Government to reach our full potential. When we talk about building 120,000 homes a year, we say this can be delivered with additional freedoms and public investment and capacity.