The Inside Housing Development Awards offer an opportunity to celebrate the very best residential developments across the UK from the past two years. Throughout the challenges of the pandemic, the sector has proved its resilience; striving towards more sustainable solutions and undertaking projects that put the needs of the communities they serve above all else.
For this category, the judges were looking for examples of unique and collaborative partnership working that demonstrated substantial benefits to the stakeholders involved.
The judges felt Mears and the London Borough of Waltham Forest had demonstrated howworking collaboratively and in true partnership throughout the COVID19 pandemic to house homeless individuals and families was commendable.
They believed that Mears and Waltham Forest demonstrated that tangible outcomes are possible only because of the partnership and were thoroughly impressed with the outcomes achieved, working tirelessly together to provide much-needed homes throughout one of the most turbulent times our sector has ever faced.
About More Homes
The More Homes project is an innovative partnership scheme that leverages new funding streams to solve the problem of expensive and inadequate temporary and emergency accommodation in this London borough
This purchase-and-repair scheme leverages funds through a privately placed bond to purchase and refurbish 365 homes for homeless individuals and families in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
The joint venture partnership has raised £88m to purchase 365 properties through the issuing of bonds.
The scheme lasts for 40 years, after which the homes will revert to the ownership of the Council, providing a sustainable source of housing for the area and giving long-term security to households in need.
In Waltham Forest, where more than £3.4 million is spent every year housing around 2300 families in bed and breakfast, hostel and other forms of temporary accommodation, the More Homes model provides an alternative, far more affordable, supply of housing that aims to significantly reduce these costs to the Council while allowing it to truly discharge its housing duty.
The result is a win-win with better homes and outcomes for families for less expenditure.
Managing Director of Mears Housing Management, John Taylor, said:
“We are delighted to be recognised by the Inside Housing Development Awards for the Best Partnership (London) for our innovative 40-year joint venture with London Borough of Waltham Forest.
“Working together we raised £82m of private finance to acquire 360 homes for people who would otherwise be living in Bed & Breakfast accommodation or unsecured temporary housing.
We have been able to give them an affordable settled home so that they can plan for their family’s future. At the same time, the Council has realised significant savings on their homeless budget and will own the properties outright.
“Mears has overseen the purchase and refurbishment of the properties and will manage and maintain them for the life of the venture. We are currently in discussions to create a second fund for another 400 homes with the Council.”