Community housing is a vital asset to people in Wycombe. I am pleased that since 2010 this Government has delivered over 357,000 affordable homes, including more than 257,000 for rent. More than three times as much council housing has been built since 2010 than in the previous 13 years.
However, local people need more homes for affordable rent and purchase.
I recently visited Red Kite Community Housing in High Wycombe to find out how they are reinventing themselves better to serve local people.
Red Kite Community Housing have been providing social housing for our community ever since I became an MP, so I was keen to discuss their plans for the future with Alan Keers, their Deputy Chief Executive. We discussed the importance of truly affordable homes for local people, both to rent and to own.
At the start of the year, Red Kite announced its intention to set up three new companies to offer sector-first flexible rents and mentoring, build new homes and provide an estate agency service.
In the video below, I discussed with Alan Keeers how Red Kite have been mapping out their future to provide homes for the community. I was impressed by the innovative steps that Red Kite are taking in response to local pressures on the housing market.
Red Kite’s new charitable company, Twenty11, is a unique organisation aiming to provide a fairer housing solution that caters for individual affordability.
New tenants will have an option to rent homes that are part of the charitable company and pay rent that is based on a household’s ability to pay, which could be either more or less than rents charged by Red Kite. Red Kite can manage antisocial behaviour much faster and more fairly, in line with standards set by tenants themselves.
Twenty11 will also give people access to a bespoke Community Potential Specialist. These Specialists will help people to develop their skills and talents and to realise their potential.
Red Kite have also launched a new property company, Edenmead, which will contribute to their development programme by providing brand new homes for outright sale. Their venture into building different tenure types allows them to cover the subsidy required for low rent housing which I know that our local community needs. Red Kite aim to build 375 new homes in the local area, and should offering homes for sale in 2018.
Finally, Red Kite’s new commercial company, Pennvale, will allow them to provide non-charitable services, such as the set-up of a lettings agency, and manage market rent and affordable homes. It will also offer a modern and trusted service to both local landlords and those seeking quality, private rented accommodations, from an organisation with experience of managing a large portfolio of homes.
I was pleased to see the innovative work being done at Red Kite, which should yield fantastic results for local people. Their work comes on top of the Government’s commitment to a total of at least £44 billion of capital funding, loans and guarantees to support the housing market through to 2022-23, which will help deliver 300,000 net additional homes a year on average by the mid-2020s. I hope to see the great ideas being developed in Wycombe spread across the country.
You can read more information about Red Kite’s plans here.