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How should approaches to social housing development evolve from here?

Sponsored by SDS

What are the major factors influencing social landlords’ development approaches and strategies? Our webinar, sponsored by SDS, aimed to find out

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Picture: Getty
Picture: Getty
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What are the major factors influencing social landlords’ development approaches and strategies? @InsideHousing webinar, sponsored by SDS, aimed to find out (Sponsored) @SDS_Shelton#UKhousing

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That the UK needs more social housing is beyond doubt – but how landlords should approach development projects is up for debate. That’s not least against the backdrop of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, possible changes to the planning system, and the introduction of the government’s new-look Affordable Homes Programme.


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This Inside Housing webinar, sponsored by SDS, brought together a small panel to discuss the key factors currently influencing development approaches and strategies for social housing organisations and how this might be different in five years’ time; how COVID-19 has affected housebuilding; and how the sector might build in processes that will consider the design of new homes.

Inside Housing and SDS webinar: the speakers

Ali Johnson, head of development, Gentoo Group

Ali is head of development at Sunderland-based Gentoo Group, where she is part of a newly created affordable development team with an ambitious target to build more than 900 homes over the next four years. Ms Johnson has more than 15 years’ experience in the housing sector and has previously held development roles at Home Group, Homes England and Tees Valley Regeneration.

Phil Shelton, chief executive, SDS

Phil Shelton is chief executive at SDS. He has extensive experience assisting housing providers in the delivery of their development programmes, through software development, training, consultancy and reporting, and at both strategic/board and operational levels. Mr Shelton has an MBA from Cranfield School of Management and is a gold member of the Learning and Performance Institute.

Helen Spencer, director of development, Great Places Housing Group

Helen Spencer has worked in housing for 18 years, delivering a wide range of regeneration, development, and housing programmes and projects. Her role at Great Places is to lead and shape the development pipeline, building high-quality homes and places in line with the Great Places ‘Building Greatness’ corporate plan, which has a target of delivering 11,000 homes by 2030.

Jitinder Takhar, chief executive, Homes for Lambeth

Jitinder Takhar is chief executive of Homes for Lambeth. She has a wealth of experience in housing and development and was previously at Local Space, where she was chief executive for three years. Ms Takhar has a long history of working in partnerships with local authorities, as well as working closely with resident forums to drive up standards and satisfaction levels. She has been a member of the National Housing Federation regional committee in the South West and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing London Board.

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