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Former Olympic village chief to advise HCA on private investment

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Nigel Hugill, ex-boss of the Olympic Village project, is to chair a new housing advisory group established by the Homes Communities Agency

The Housing Finance Group’s remit will be to look at future sources of private finance for new and existing housing, both affordable and private.Those areas which the group will review and explore include:

  • Financing continued private sector development – including stimulating mechanisms which will allow returns on capital employed to reach a viable level for private sector developers, as well as exploring the entry of new players with private sector provision including a longer-term investment in place building.  This area will build on the HCA’s Private Rental Sector Initiative and explore systems used by utility companies in assessing long-term investment;
  • Ensuring finance is available for the affordable housing sector – including guidance for renegotiating S106 deals, the future of delivery through the HCA’s national affordable housing programme, and new forms of future finance, with the HCA and local authorities acting as contractor clients;
  • Funding improvements to existing stock – including Decent Homes and mechanisms to incentivise improvements in private sector housing.

Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual conference yesterday (16 June), Bob Kerslake, chief executive of the HCA said: “Making the best use of private finance and, importantly, identifying new sources of investment, is crucial if we are to maintain activity and industry capacity throughout the downturn and beyond.  The underlying need for producing new housing and improving existing stock hasn’t gone away, and I am delighted that the HCA will be able to call on individuals of this calibre to help us inform finance options in meeting that demand. 

Hugill, who resigned as Chairman of Lend Lease Europe in September 2008, was responsible for overseeing some of the UK’s most significant projects such as the London 2012 Athletes’ Village in Stratford and the Elephant and Castle redevelopment.

Hugill said: ‘Public and private house building has tended to rely on comparatively narrow sources of funding in the UK. Those same sources can be expected to remain under pressure for some time. As a group, we will examine how the range can be broadened, in particular through the greater deployment of professional capital such as that proposed via the private rental initiative. Initial responses to that initiative give grounds for cautious optimism that there is institutional appetite to help extend funding sources across the residential spectrum.’

Membership of the Group being announced at this stage are:

Nigel Hugill, recent Executive Chairman Lend Lease

Robert Napier: HCA Chairman

Sir Bob Kerslake: HCA Chief Executive

Anthony Mayer: Chair of TSA and LPA

Sir Adrian Montague: Chair of Friends Provident

David Montague: Chief Executive of London and Quadrant

Richard Parker: Corporate Finance, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Nick Salisbury: Head of Structured Finance, Barclays Commercial Bank

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