Housing is the second largest emitter of carbon in the UK after transport, with many homes poorly insulated, and ill-equipped for the future. As one of the largest housing providers in the south of England we recognised the need to work closely with others to develop a recognised framework for reporting on Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) standards, creating the Sustainability Reporting Standard for Social Housing which ties in directly with UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Our Homes and Place Standard, launched in early 2021, aligns directly with these commitments, and will ensure that our homes are built to last, adaptable, sustainable, and enjoyable to live in. We understand our responsibility to future generations – those who will inherit the built environment we are investing in today. The Standard is explicit about the need to build in a way that is sustainable and to build homes that can be sustainably maintained. Our homes will help people move towards zero carbon, reducing energy and water use and saving money.
We’re already one of the largest housing developers in the country, but we want to do more, build more and create more great places to live. Last year we invested more than £216m in building 1,099 homes, 96% of which were affordable.
We’re increasing the land-led element of our programme, while still winning and delivering section 106 sites, broadening the range of organisations we work with and changing our relationships with others, to deliver in a different way.
It’s important to us to think carefully about the design and the environmental stability of the places that we create and the neighbourhoods where we have strong connections. But we’ll also be looking ahead and we’ve almost completed the process of grading all of our homes against the new Home and Place Standard.
Soon we’ll begin detailed conversations with local authorities, the regulator, lenders and ratings agencies about future regeneration projects or disposal of homes. We expect that the vast majority of the properties we sell will be sold as they are vacated – very few customers will have to move home. But communication of specific plans will need to be sensitive and timely.
By offering the widest range of flexible housing options, from rented homes through to homeownership, we’re providing a place for the largest variety of people to meet their ever-changing needs.