For-profit registered providers can benefit tenants and investors alike
Take a longer view
As homelessness increases, bed and breakfast accommodation is further relied upon and the introduction of universal credit threatens to affect rent levels, local authorities have an immediate need for solutions for the provision of long term-housing.
The creation of Orchard & Shipman homes as a for-profit registered housing provider enables us to build on our experience and find new solutions to deliver long-term housing by attracting private and institutional investment into the sector. We were one of three new profit-making companies to register as social housing providers at the end of March.
This status gives us the ability to plan for the long term and to focus on the continued provision of housing 10 to 15 years down the line. It means tenants who would otherwise be placed in temporary housing will be given longer-term tenancies instead of the standard one-year assured shorthold tenancy, providing stability.
The change in policy to encourage for-profit providers opens up the market to new players, which in turn will bring different ways of working. There will inevitably be a shift away from traditional social landlords. We expect to see more institutional investors and developers set up registered providers as they seek the stable, secure returns on their investments that long-term housing solutions offer.
Existing landlords will no doubt feel the impact of new providers on the way housing solutions are delivered, forcing them to make better use of their assets - a must if they are to remain competitive. Over time, the diversity new players bring to the market will give the sector greater flexibility to be more responsive to changes in the market and to shift between social rent, private rent and homeownership models.
Samantha Male is director of Orchard & Shipman homes