5 November 2019

We are on a journey to meet the housing needs of our local communities and as these rise and change, smaller housing associations are meeting the challenge.

We are committed to playing our part to meet the 340,000 homes needed each year. The National Housing Federation have been calling on the Government to commit funding for this over the last year. Not only that, many of us are committed to meeting the need for adaptable homes. People's needs are changing as they age or experience health changes. Smaller housing associations are likely to be more specialist and committed to developing for people with disabilities, older people or those with substance misuse or mental health.

Our delivery amongst g320 members is becoming much stronger. Almost every week, I see members publicising the new homes they have built. Haig housing have just completed 68 properties, Crown Simmons four properties, and Bexley Community Housing Association 12 homes. Many, many more homeless families have the homes they need to build a successful future for them and their families.

As our members are certainly growing, g320 has decided we need to adapt. We have decided unanimously to meet the needs of our members, who grow to more than 1000 homes, by extending our membership criteria - g320 will now be able to include members from London as they grow up to 2500 homes.

Mergers are another reason for members to become larger than 1000 homes and as we continue to see some merger activity, I believe that because small housing associations are committed very strongly to their local purpose, they are less inclined to seek merger partners as a means to develop more homes, preferring to develop incrementally and gradually instead.

We consulted with partners and the wider sector before coming to a conclusion. The Regulator of Social Housing takes a risk based approach to regulation, so does not describe smaller RPs as solely under 1000 units. The National Housing Federation consider a smaller RP to be any with under 2500 homes. And then the GLA communicates to small and medium RPs with a similar offer to both.

It is important to members that our focus wasn’t diluted in any way from supporting the smallest of housing associations who join. We will keep this under review to make sure we keep the community and locality focus which is so integral to our mission. Find out more on our website: www.g320.org

Clare Norton

Clare is Chair of the g320

Clare Norton has worked to alleviate homelessness for 25 years, striving to help rough sleepers and those with vulnerabilities to find homes with support to develop skills to live independently.

Clare is the CEO of Peter Bedford Housing Association and was elected in 2016 as the Chair of g320. In 2017 Clare became a member of the Homes for Londoners Board advising Sadiq Khan on housing policy, strategy and delivery issues.

Delivering in the community