Broadway Living on Radio 4

Tue 25 August 2015, 12:11 pm

The recent edition of BBC Radio 4 consumer affairs show, You & Yours, featured a discussion about councils which are setting up their own housing companies, including Ealing's Broadway Living.

It drew on research by Ealing in London publisher, 3Fox International, and featured an interview with the council's executive director of regeneration and housing, Pat Hayes.

Broadway Living has been one of the housing companies which has attracted attention: the first homes were built by November 2014 following the creation of the company in March of the same year.

Hayes spoke about how the idea gives people an option to live in good-quality housing without having to go down the route of traditional methods.

He said: "People in reasonably secure work would not qualify for a conventional council house but they probably can’t afford to buy. Their only other option beforehand would be to go for probably, fairly poor-quality rented accommodation. We’re able to plough any money we make back from [the housing company] into providing more social rented housing for those people in less good circumstances."

The programme followed a SocInvest masterclass organised by 3Fox, where senior members of local authorities, private sector developers and law-firm representatives spoke about how the process works.

3Fox's research on how many councils are setting up their own housing companies or are considering doing so featured too. Out of the 112 local authorities which responded to the survey, 12.5% have already set up a company and 34% are actively considering the idea.

Housing and partner at law firm Trowers and Hamlins, Robert Beiley, who spoke at 3Fox's SocInvest masterclass, was also interviewed on the programme.

He said: "Over the past year or so we’ve seen a steady stream of councils coming to us to talk about setting up their own housing companies. There’s no doubt it is really capturing the imagination of councils up and down the country."

Click here to listen to the programme 

NB: The section about councils creating housing companies starts after nine minutes.

Read the report here

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