For the team at Watson Homes, delivering quality affordable housing has become a specialty and priority in recent years.
Since the 1980s and the Right to Buy movement, the market for affordable homes has taken a significant hit, especially the number of social rent homes being built.
This has left many communities suffering with a lack of options when it comes to family-centric places with high-quality homes – at lower prices.
While many developers have been working hard to fill the gap created over 30 years ago, ultimately it can be more profitable to steer away from affordable housing in the long run.
For construction companies like Watson Homes, the appetite is there to bring new social housing schemes to life, and the key is to work with developers and housing providers that share this drive.
These issues surrounding the need for social housing have more recently been accelerated by Brexit uncertainty and, now, the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to an article recently published in Inside Housing, the general feeling is that social housing will need to see a much greater push in the wake of COVID-19. Leading economists have forecast how the predicted recession will require the UK to return to pre-1990s levels of building to accommodate the government’s recovery plan.
To keep housebuilding firmly on the agenda, the government has taken positive steps towards supporting construction businesses throughout this latest hurdle. The furlough scheme means many employers have been able to keep staff on and on-site. Plus, by extending planning permission validity into 2021, and implementing speedier planning processes so builds can be moved forwards as quickly as possible, developers have the impetus to get their social housing schemes moving.
At Watson Homes, this means we’ve been able to continue our relationships with key housing association partners and local councils. When it comes to building affordable homes, this is one of the best options for contractors like us.
We work alongside the organisations that have the very best understanding of what local people want and need from their affordable housing schemes. Working to deliver projects on this smaller, localised scale means we always prioritise quality, as well as effectively contributing towards the nation’s vast housing targets.
To date we have successfully delivered 397 affordable homes, with a current 525 units that are being developed in the north west. Our pipeline for future schemes in the early stage of our internal process and at the start of planning should deliver a further 735 homes.
To make tangible progress, we firmly believe that by investing in local areas, and in turn reinvesting the profit to create more spaces for local people, we can make a truly significant difference to the lives of people in desperate need of affordable housing options.
To find out more about how we work with key partners in the north west, visit our homepage.