Tag Archives: Notting Hill

Notting Hill Housing launches PRS brand

Housing association Notting Hill has launched a dedicated private rented sector brand. Folio London will be taking over the organisation’s private rented housing business, which first began in 2007.

The move comes as an increasing number of housing associations are weighing up their options around market rental. The association joins Thames Valley Housing, which operates Fizzy Living, in having a dedicated – and separate – brand. Fellow housing association A2 Dominion is also preparing to launch a fresh brand, Fabrica, to take forward its market rent and build for sale activities. As registered charities, housing associations are generally focused on creating subsidised, “affordable” housing, but as sources of funding, such as government grants, reduce, they are increasingly looking at other ways to create funds to support those core activities. A profit made from rental housing can therefore be judged as a relevant way to support further construction of affordable housing portfolios.

Notting Hill has said that a project in Marine Wharf, Surrey Quays will be the first development under the Folio London name. The housing association will be developing and managing 374 flats for private rent in a partnership development with Sellar Design & Development, though the first flats will not be available to rent until 2017.

Folio London will take forward Notting Hill Housing's PRS activities

Folio London will take forward Notting Hill Housing’s PRS activities

“It’s important that we distinguish our offer in London’s very competitive private rented sector,” said NHH chief operating officer, Andy Belton.

“Our approach is straightforward – there’s no hard-sell from our dedicated team as we don’t work on commission. Early next year we will add web services for existing residents to report repairs and make payments.”

Belton noted that Notting Hill is no newcomer to the PRS: “We set up our private rent business seven years ago and today we have a portfolio of 800 homes. Depending on market conditions, we will add up to 1,000 new private rent homes in the next five years, from our overall development pipeline of 7,000 units.”

Notting Hill embraces private rental housing in porfolio mix

Housing associations need to embrace the private sector in order to help deliver more social housing. That’s the message from Kate Davies, chief executive of housing group Notting Hill.

While still a housing association dedicated to providing supported homes, Notting Hill has moved with the times and today almost one fifth of its portfolio is private rentals and shared ownership housing. In an interview with The Guardian, Davies says that building a more commercial attitude is essential. “I support social housing – there should be more of it. But if there is limited money available for that, what else are you going to do to produce more of it?”

Davies says that Notting Hill is still dedicated to its core activities, but that housing associations who baulk at change are living in the past. Subsidies from government are declining, and that means other options have to be explored, to help fund the provision of affordable homes. “If you can produce low-cost housing for people by doing commercial activity, do the commercial activity.”

Read more of the Kate Davies profile in the Guardian.