The need for Social Housing continues to expand. The pandemic has worsened the situation for many families. Already struggling to save up money for the big deposits that lenders prefer, they are facing house prices rising at unprecedented rates as we emerge (hopefully) from the Pandemic and demand is outstripping supply. As businesses seek to recover from the effects of the Pandemic it is unlikely that there will be general wage rises on a level that will keep pace with house price inflation in the aftermath of the Pandemic.
Affordable housing with its various ways of assisting people to get on the housing ladder will continue to be of significant importance both practically for ordinary people and politically as political parties of all colours continue to put housing at the forefront of their policies as they all realise that we are chronically short of housing and especially affordable housing.
Unfortunately government schemes have been of limited impact. They are very valuable and useful to the people who can qualify for them or are able to make the necessary regular savings to take advantage of them but they are, when compared to the size of the problem, a drop in the ocean.
The government has announced various policies to promote housing supply including the loosening of the planning system to make it quicker and easier for developers to get planning but at the same time registered providers are not getting the same level of grant funding as they got 20 or 30 years ago in real terms.
The effects of the Pandemic have yet to play out fully, but it seems inevitable that registered providers will find that they have increased arrears as people were made redundant, put of furlough or were unable to work and earn enough to pay their rents.
As always, the sector is being asked to provide more housing with less real financial support to do it with. Some associations are sufficiently asset rich to be able to raise significant funding to be able to support their new build programs, but, no doubt, the sector will rise to the challenge even though how much additional help the government will be able to provide in the short to medium term is debatable.
Our sector experience
Rollits is one of the few Registered Social Landlords specialists in the Yorkshire region and we provide a full service to the sector nationally, dealing with all aspects of social housing property work. Our head of the social housing team has over two decades of experience in the sector. Working closely with Registered Social Landlords, we recognise that innovation is key to the sector remaining active.
We act predominantly for housing associations and for developers on planning matters and Section 106 agreements. We work closely with local authorities and Homes England, which is beneficial to our clients. We advise on all matters relating to social housing, including advising charitable bodies, undertaking anything from the management of substantial property portfolios, to day-to-day management of day care and nursery facilities. We also fully understand their sector-specific products: social rent, affordable rents, shared ownership, shared equity and restricted price covenant schemes/discount for sale.
We have extensive experience across all areas of the sector, including acquisitions involving complex, non-standard documentation, involving framework agreements between parties, option agreements, conditional contracts, overage provisions, the creation of bespoke documentation and 'extra care' schemes. As developers 'develop out' sites and face time limits on sales, we ensure that housing associations are able to take best advantage of the opportunities that arise.
Why use Rollits?
Our status as a credible specialist social housing firm is verified in Chambers and Legal 500. Our approach is very much about forging partnerships. By really understanding our Registered Social Landlords clients' business and ethos, we are able to deliver advice that is client specific and pragmatic.
Our multi-disciplinary approach also ensures that we can bring in other in-house expertise when necessary, dealing with planning queries, governance issues, charity status challenges, contracts, employment contracts, data protection work and Freedom of Information requests - where client information needs to be handled carefully. Our Social Housing team has earned a reputation for combining knowledge and experience with innovation and expertise.
‘Approachable and friendly, happy to explain things simply for us. All team members are very good and very thorough in their work.’
The UK Legal 500, 2020 edition
- Land Acquisitions and Disposals
- Planning Applications and Appeals
- Landlord and Tenant (residential and commercial)
- Shared Ownership Leasing
- Voluntary Purchase Grants and Discount Schemes
- Housing Association Structures and Administration
- Right to Buy
- Banking and Finance
- Portfolio Financing
Get in touch
To discuss our services, please contact us.