The Goodwin Development Trust & Accent Housing – securing funding and working with a housing association

The Goodwin Development Trust provide quality housing at 80% of current market rental rates as well as providing access to all of Goodwin’s family of services.

Having cut their teeth on refurbishing empty homes funded via the Empty Homes Community Grants Programme, Goodwin Development Trust decided to build some new build affordable housing.

Funding was available from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)’s Affordable Housing Programme for rented housing and Goodwin was encouraged to make an application, on the condition that they joined an Investment Consortium, led by one of the HCA’s experienced Investment Partners.

Goodwin was directed towards the Accent Group Consortium, comprising 12 other Registered Providers (RPs), led by Accent Housing, through which their funding would be routed by the HCA.

The HCA often encourages smaller Housing Associations (HAs) to join an Investors’ Consortium which then bids for the funding on behalf of its members and then passes it onto the member, rather than attempting to secure Investment Partner status in their own right.

In addition, Accent played a mentoring role assisting them with their detailed funding application and navigating the HCA procedures.

The Goodwin Trust decided to register with the HCA to become a ‘registered provider’ and manage the homes themselves. Registration took some time since The Goodwin Development Trust as a whole registered with the HCA, but this meant it could satisfy the financial and governance standards required for registration. An alternative approach would have been to have set up a separate subsidiary legal entity which would have sought registration in its own right in order to avoid subjecting the whole organisation to HCA regulation.   

Goodwin decided to develop their affordable rented housing using a version of modular housing built to a very high standard of energy efficiency and each of the initial five houses they completed were made up of four pre-fabricated units.

In December 2016 the Trust were offered £4m from the HCA’s 2015-18 Affordable Homes Programme to develop another 40 housing units. They decided to develop land already in their ownership and secured a low cost loan (3.5%) of c£2m from Hull City Council to secure the further funding that was required.

Using the experience that they’ve gained Goodwin is now mentoring other organisations planning to go down a similar route.

Find out more about The Goodwin Trust