24 Housing opinion piece on Stonewater's new management partnership with Legal and General Affordable Homes by Nick Harris

Legal & General Affordable Homes has ambitions to deliver 3,000 affordable homes across the UK annually over the next four years.

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At Stonewater, we are very pleased to have been named as Legal & General’s management partner, taking on the management of 1,000 of these homes over the coming years.

Stonewater already has ambitious plans to push our business to provide thousands more much-needed affordable homes over the same period, so why did we decide to bid to work with Legal & General?

More homes, more quickly

First, tackling the severe shortage of affordable housing requires a focussed and ambitious strategy that makes the most of all opportunities.

By working with Legal & General to support its plans to deliver 3,000 homes by 2022, we saw the chance to provide more high-quality homes at a faster pace and to address the gap between affordable housing need and current supply.

Stonewater will be managing homes under this arrangement across the South East, South West, Midlands and North East regions of England.

Between now and March 2020, our colleagues will oversee the management of 300 Legal & General homes, with the remaining 700 to follow.

Although the partnership announcement was only made earlier this week, we are delighted to report that we’ve already welcomed three families in Worcestershire into their new homes.

Customer experience

Second, as discussions with Legal & General developed, it became clear that they share our commitment to delivering excellent service and experience to new and existing customers.

We are also aligned on our vision of delivering great quality, affordable homes to people who need them most.

By allowing us to focus on what we do best and provide excellent customer service and support, Legal & General has greater capacity to focus on the delivery of much-needed homes.

This includes the provision of a mix of social, affordable rental and shared ownership homes in area where access to affordable homes is a real issue for local communities.

Long-term certainty

Third, as a leading social housing provider, our aim is to not just build and manage homes, but to help create communities that our customers are proud to be a part of.

Our teams within Stonewater put the customer at the heart of everything they do.

We invest in our communities for the long term, and so the long-term nature of the partnership with Legal & General (five years with an option to extend for an additional five years) gives us certainty and really allows us to plan and deliver effectively.

Our existing geographic spread also meant we were well placed to be successful across a broad area – in fact we have been selected in 95% of the locations we applied for.

Following 140 expressions of interest from organisations in the housing sector about the partnership and an extensive two-stage tender process, we are incredibly pleased with this result and are looking forward to meeting our brand-new residents in the coming months.

While it is still early days, we aim to build on our relationship with Legal & General.

We plan to discuss how we can collaborate on other development projects to ensure we explore all options to meet the demand for affordable housing.

You can also read the article on the 24 Housing website