Housing leaders come together to set out their vision for North Yorkshire

Thirteen has joined 22 other housing associations to set out their offer to support the new devolved structures in York and North Yorkshire.

27 Jan 2023

The York and North Yorkshire Housing Prospectus sets out how housing associations can work with the new combined authority and the York and North Yorkshire Councils to take a strategic approach to delivering the affordable homes the region needs. They have agreed to focus on three key areas: building the right homes in the right place, the drive to net zero and boosting jobs and the local economy.

The combined authority will elect its first mayor next year, following the York and North Yorkshire devolution deal agreed by the government in August last year.

The deal gives the region new powers to help boost local regeneration and build more affordable homes. Over £13m will be made available to build new homes on brownfield land and £2.65m will help support the delivery of low carbon affordable homes.

Between them housing associations own and manage more than 30,000 homes across North Yorkshire’s seven districts. Managing these homes adds £75m to the regional economy every year and supports around 1600 full time jobs.

The affordable homes crisis in North Yorkshire is most acute in the county’s rural areas, with the most desirable locations commanding property prices that far outstrip average wages. Building more affordable homes in these areas in key to giving younger people and those on lower incomes the option to stay in their local communities.

On average North Yorkshire has 6% less affordable homes than in other parts of the country and it is estimated that more than 800 new affordable homes need to be built each year to alleviate the crisis.

Housing associations will also focus on tackling climate change. UK homes are a major contributor of carbon emissions and homes in North Yorkshire are among the least energy efficient in the country. Housing associations are already committed to reducing carbon emissions and meeting government targets. They can help North Yorkshire reach net-zero by 2034 and many are already using low carbon solutions, such as Air Source Heat Pumps and solar panels with battery storage to reduce the energy needs of new and existing homes.

Following the launch, Thirteen’s deputy chief executive Chris Smith said: “We’re  pleased to support this prospectus and to be included in the partnership of housing associations who want to work more collaboratively to help deliver the ambitions of the new devolved structures in York and North Yorkshire. Housing is a really important contributor to social and economic regeneration and helps create and sustain communities."

The group is exploring the options to form a formal housing partnership which will report annually on progress against delivery of the prospectus. The housing associations will also be collectively engaging with all the mayoral candidates ahead of next year’s elections.