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Exclusive: Treasury-backed housing institute established

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The Housing & Finance Institute - which a Treasury review suggested could work with councils to boost housing supply - has been formally established and lawyer Natalie Elphicke appointed as its first chief executive.

The institute has been backed by a range of private and public organisations including private developers and financiers.

While these have yet to be named, the H&FI has been publically supported by Local Partnerships, an agency owned jointly by the Treasury and the Local Government Association.

Ms Elphicke, who last year oversaw the Treasury review with Eastleigh BC leader Keith House (Lib Dem), said its primary focus would be “accelerating the delivery of new housing”.

“It will help councils to become housing-business ready by helping them understand what kinds of finance and models are available and help businesses become better equipped to work with councils,” she told LGC.

“We believe it is quite important that this is outside of government but has the opportunity to overcome obstacles to increasing housing supply with government.

“Both public sector and private business have pledged set up support, cash or direct business support, and are working together to implement HFi.”

It’s board will be made up from representatives from the public sector and a range of businesses, including house builders and financiers.

The institute has been set up as a not-for-profit standalone firm and will be funded by its members and income from “business engagement work”.

Writing in an exclusive comment piece in LGC today, Ms Elphicke said she was keen to hear from councils which wanted to become “housing delivery enablers” as well as small and large businesses.

The HFI is due to hold its inaugural summit today.

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