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Cross Keys Homes’ determination to tackle the housing crisis has been rewarded with a win in the housing sector’s own Oscars – the UK Housing Awards.
The Peterborough based housing association has won the National Development Programme of the Year category in the awards organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing and Inside Housing magazine.
The award recognises not only CKH’s unprecedented growth in development, but its innovative approach to sourcing funding for the building of affordable homes, and its determination to build thriving, vibrant and most importantly supportive communities as a critical element of its new build work. Its development programme has seen it set, and meet, ambitious targets to build at least 500 new homes a year, and it is building strong communities in more areas than ever before, including Milton Keynes, Huntingdonshire and Bedford.
Cross Keys Homes has recognised that traditional funding sources for building social housing has become more scarce, and has taken a robust commercial approach, including two key Joint Ventures – with Kier Living and Peterborough City Council – and a number of judicious bonds and loans, most recently £80m from Lloyds and new financial partner Handelsbanken. This approach has allowed CKH to self-fund on many developments and subsidise development activity that might not otherwise have been open to them, hence giving real breadth and depth to its development plan. It has also allowed CKH to support its social developments, such as its brand new extra care scheme, Lapwing Apartments.
CKH’s Chief Executive, Claire Higgins, says of the award win: “This win is great news for us, and a real confirmation that our approach to tackling the housing crisis completely in the round is the right one. We are passionate about providing affordable homes for as many people as we can – both to rent and to own through shared ownership. But we are more than a landlord, and we will never compromise on our dedication to making our communities fantastic places to live, as well as supporting the most vulnerable in those communities to succeed, flourish and reach their true potential.”
CKH was also shortlisted in the Outstanding Approach to Tenant Involvement category, recognising the innovative ways they involve customers in the running of their business, from their ground breaking Residents Board, to their Scrutiny Panel that now operates through Facebook, making it accessible to more people.