Clare Miller provides evidence to the Built Environment Committee
The group chief executive of Clarion Housing Group made the case in the House of Lords for more government support.
Clare Miller, the group chief executive of Clarion Housing Group, provided evidence to the Built Environment Committee in the House of Lords on 26 October –making the case that with more help from government, Clarion could accelerate the delivery of new affordable housing.
In a Q&A session that covered a wide range of policy issues, Clare focused on the opportunities for scaling up the development of affordable housing.
- Clare explained that even with grant from government or the GLA, Clarion still funds around 50% of the cost of building a social home from our own resources. This is a combination of the cost of land, construction and the subsidy required to charge subsidised rates over the long-term. She made clear that if more grant were made available, Clarion would then have the resources to scale up our development programme more quickly. Clarion built 2,126 homes in the last financial year, of which 90% were affordable tenures.
- The conversation turned to planning policy, with Clare saying that the effectiveness of planning departments is variable across the country and all are in need of greater resources to help move applications through the system.
- Clare welcomed the initiative of the Mayor of London to ‘fast track’ development schemes through the system that commit to at least 35% of housing being affordable. She said it was just and right that this had been put in place and expressed hope it would be looked at in other parts of the country.
- In terms of the sustainability of homes, Clare cited the work Clarion is doing to retrofit homes in Fenland & Tonbridge and Malling, which will save residents £300 - £500 per year in energy bills and significantly cut their CO2 emissions. Clare made clear that these are pilot programmes only, but improving the energy efficiency of homes will be a priority for the sector.
Find out more information about the Built Environment Committee enquiry.