Future of London delivers new skills academy for housing development

Created by London housing directors, the Housing Development Academy will help London boroughs equip their staff with the skills needed to accelerate council-led housebuilding

Future of London is proud to be delivering the newly launched Housing Development Academy created by the London Housing Directors’ Group with support from the Mayor of London.

The new academy will support councils in the capital develop the skills required to build new council homes in larger numbers.

Believed to be the first scheme of its kind, London local authorities are working together to design training programmes that will help address their specific skills challenges and strengthen their ability to deliver more council housing in the coming years.

Nicola Mathers, Chief Executive of Future of London, said:

“We are proud to be delivering this important collaborative project with the London boroughs. The initiative is providing high-quality training, which will equip local authority housing practitioners with the skills they need to build more homes.”

“Accelerating the delivery of genuinely affordable rented homes is crucial to London’s social and economic sustainability. That’s why we are delighted to be working with local authorities to make that happen.”

In the face of London’s severe housing pressures and homelessness crisis, boroughs are playing a key role in boosting delivery of affordable homes – including through building new council housing for their communities.

London boroughs ramp up council housebuilding

Council housebuilding is at its highest level since the 1970s, with more than 5,000 new council homes started in London last year – more than the rest of the country combined.

The Housing Development Academy will support this ambitious housebuilding agenda by offering short courses on the skills needed to build more homes. Key skills range from initial site analysis through to the financial appraisals and commercial assessments required for large-scale investment.

The academy was set up by the London Housing Directors’ Group with the support of London Councils and grant funding from the Greater London Authority. The training is open to staff from local authorities, housing associations, and for-profit developers – but with priority given to London boroughs.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ Executive Member for Regeneration, Housing & Planning, said:

“Boroughs are proud to be building the next generation of council homes across the capital. The Housing Development Academy will play a pivotal role in making sure London has the skills required to build the council homes our communities are crying out for.”

Joanne Drew, Co-Chair of the London Housing Directors’ Group, said:

“Boosting delivery of new council homes is essential for tackling London’s chronic shortage of affordable housing.

“Through the Housing Development Academy, council staff will strengthen their skills while sharing experience and learning from each other’s work.  It’s a great example of boroughs collaborating to support our collective capacity as housebuilders.”

Tom Copley, the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, said:

“Ensuring that councils have the right specialist skills to continue to deliver affordable homes in the face of budget cutbacks is crucial to achieving a fairer and more equal London for all.

“The academy will support councils in building on their skills to continue delivering high-quality, genuinely affordable homes Londoners deserve.”

Find out more about the Housing Skills Academy here.

Photo: Chris Gary at Unsplash