Hightown has again been listed as the fastest growing housing association in the UK after delivering the highest number of homes in relation to its stock size in 2022/23. This is the fourth time in the last five years that Hightown has claimed the top spot.
Between April 2022 and March 2023, Hightown delivered 530 new affordable homes in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Bedfordshire, growing by 6.4% to a total of 8,294 homes.
The 'Biggest Builders 2023' list, compiled by trade publication, Inside Housing, also placed Hightown – the not-for-profit organisation - as the UK's 30th biggest builder of affordable homes.
Despite a very challenging operating environment, with costs and interest rates increasing, Hightown continues to provide much-needed, affordable homes to people in housing need. The Association has built over 1,000 new affordable homes in the last two years and plans to build a further 1,000 homes in the next two years. Around 49% of Hightown’s lettings went to homeless households.
The 530 new homes include 350 for affordable and social rent (allocated by councils to those in housing need), 15 rent to buy and 165 shared ownership homes. Shared ownership offers a more affordable way for an aspiring homeowner to get on the housing ladder. 54% of the new homes were houses and 46% were flats.
Some of Hightown's recent developments include 33 homes at Charter Court, Hemel Hempstead; 52 homes in the community of Bidwell West Local Centre near Houghton Regis and 81 homes at Whippendell Marine, Watford.
The social housing landlord measured the impact of its development programme on the wider economy using the National Housing Federation’s economic impact calculator; it estimates that Hightown’s development programme added £72.5million to the regional economy last year.
David Bogle, Chief Executive at Hightown Housing Association, said:
"I am delighted with the number of new affordable homes that Hightown managed to deliver last year, despite the challenges of high cost inflation and rising interest costs. These excellent results are due to the hard work and commitment of our staff and the support of our Board, funders, partners and contractors.
“Hightown has been the fastest growing Housing Association for four out of the last five years. This demonstrates our strong commitment to delivering social value. Through our development programme we provide homes for those who cannot afford to buy or rent at market rates. I am very pleased that so many of our lettings went to people who were homeless and managed to move out of temporary accommodation into a high quality, secure home.”