This week, I gave evidence at the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee in my roles as Chair of G15 and Group Chief Executive of L&Q. Committee members are looking at the finances and sustainability of the sector.
Sitting alongside NHF Chief Executive, Kate Henderson, Group Chief Executive of Karbon Homes, Paul Fiddaman, and Kate Wareing, CEO of Soha Housing, it was an excellent opportunity to answer a range of questions from committee members and to help their understanding of the issues we face as a sector.
Although we remain financially strong, we are facing some pretty strong economic headwinds. Inflation, increased borrowing costs and the impact of this year's rent cap mean that we are having to prioritise things and make some really tough decisions.
Taking inflation alone, I shared some really tough data from G15 colleagues. For example, the materials we all use for our repairs and maintenance service have increased by 16.8%, new build costs by 25%, insurance costs by 100% and gas by a staggering 573%.
One of the toughest figures I shared though was from London Councils. One in every 23 children in the capital city is living in temporary accommodation. That is the equivalent of more than one child in every school class.
Providing homes for people who need them is our core purpose and providing homes by making sure we repair and relet our empty homes as quickly as we can and we need to find ways to keep building the much-needed affordable housing that will help the life outcomes of those children.
Hopefully, some of my points landed with the politicians I spoke to this week.