Broadway Living used as case study at masterclass
Thu 18 June 2015, 11:39 am
The success of Ealing Council's Broadway Living housing company was presented as a case study at a masterclass – organised by Ealing in London publisher 3Fox International – about local authorities setting up their own development bodies.
David Baptiste, head of housing development at Ealing Council’s Broadway Living, talked 31 local councils through the reasons for, and challenges in, setting up the company.
He spoke about Broadway Living’s achievements. The first homes were built by November 2014 following the establishment of the housing company in March of the same year. Baptiste said the authority has been developing homes since 2008, when a programme was launched to regenerate eight estates in the borough. Of these, two were delivered with the council acting as developer.
A priority for the council through Broadway Living is to build affordable housing, as Baptiste explained: “What we really are about is 'affordable' housing in its widest sense – not just the vague definitions of that, but dealing with the real business of what people can afford in this area.
“We’re working hard to craft opportunities for homebuyers that are genuine, taking incomes into account and linking that into Ealing as a place to live. This is probably going to hone in on a form of rented property which we are pushing ahead with through the company.”
Baptiste also said that it was important for councils to be clear on the reason for setting up such a company in the first place. “We arrived at the concept principally to deliver new homes. We learn from each experience as we go along but the company is here to stay and it will be something we continue to fund.”
A recent survey of 112 local authorities conducted by 3Fox International revealed that over 10% (14 councils) have set up housing companies and 37 more are considering doing so. In other words, more than half of all councils are engaging in this new approach to housebuilding.