Communities and Local Government CommitteeWritten evidence submitted by Genesis Housing Association

Genesis is aiming to lead the way in developing and shaping the future role of housing associations in building vibrant, mixed communities. Stratford Halo is a large mixed tenure scheme less than 500 metres from the Olympic Stadium and park. The tenure split is:

Affordable Rent-138 units.

Shared ownership- 91 units.

Market rent -410 units.

Extra Care-65 units.

Genesis sought investment in the market rent units at its Stratford Halo development from an institutional investor in order not to utilise its Balance Sheet capacity in relation to the delivery of market homes on this mixed tenure regeneration. Retention of Genesis Balance Sheet capacity is important to ensure that it can continue to develop more much needed new homes. The sale to M&G on a 160 year lease has released Genesis’ original investment. Genesis decided to enter into a lease back of the market rent properties for a 35 year period. This was considered important for three reasons. First, undertaking the management of the market rent units and taking on the associated operating lease made the sale attractive to the investor. Second, Genesis is developing a new community at Stratford and retaining management control over the market units is important to the achievement of this objective. Third, Genesis expects to make a surplus from operating a market rental business from the properties it has leased back, which will be used to fund further regeneration projects.

Although the PRS market is associated with generation rent, there is mounting evidence to suggest that the tenure is increasingly occupied by older households and families, due to difficulties in accessing other housing tenures. According Genesis is seeking to shape the “multi family” market. We want Genesis market renters, renting for the long term, so that they can have a decent stable property that they can make their home. We want them play an active role in the community and places that we are creating.

We will offer the following:

Tenancies up to five years with yearly agreed increases.

Tenants will be able to move to larger or smaller units within a scheme or within the market rent portfolio.

Tenants can decorate their home; hang up pictures, as long as the property is returned to Genesis in the same condition as when the tenancy started.

Named Property Manager.

24/7 emergency repair service.

24/7 contact centre.

Menu of additional services.

We will need to demonstrate to potential tenants that private renting can be a secure and high quality option. We also recognise that tenants have real choice, if we don’t provide excellent services and value for money—tenants will not stay with Genesis long term.

January 2013

Prepared 16th July 2013