Prime Minister, Theresa May, spoke at the National Housing Federation Summit in Westminster on the need for more social housing (19 September). It’s the first time that a sitting PM has spoken at this event. She talked about her “personal mission to fix our broken housing system” and the importance of Housing Associations as ‘strategic, long-term investors’.
In her keynote speech she also mentioned Peabody's role in Thamesmead, recognising the "unique challenges and opportunities" in the town. She said:
"Now, thanks to the commitment and insight of Peabody, there are ambitious plans for up to 20,000 new homes in one of the UK’s most over-subscribed cities. Making complex projects like this work requires vision, determination and the courage to do development differently. Housing associations possess that. Given the right tools and the right support, you can act as the strategic, long-term investors in the kind of high-quality places this country needs. To put it simply, you get homes built. And I want to work with you to transform the way we do so.”
You can read the full speech here.
John Lewis, Executive Director Thamesmead, who gave his reaction to the speech and spoke to LBC radio about social housing at the summit, said:
“It is good that government sees Housing Associations as key partners in delivering the new homes that are desperately needed. The Prime Minister's signal of new long-term partnerships with the sector will provide certainty to invest, and hopefully unlock new opportunities to get more high-quality affordable housing built. Our patient investment and long-term approach to place-making means that we are well placed to play a leading role in this. Working with the GLA, the Royal Borough of Greenwich, London Borough of Bexley and others we think Thamesmead can make a significant contribution to tackling London's housing shortage in the years to come. It was also very encouraging to hear the Prime Minister talk about the need to invest heavily in high-quality management of existing homes and places. This is a big priority for us in Thamesmead and elsewhere."