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Published 21 October 2020

New housing association partnership sets five devolution ambitions for West Yorkshire 

WDH is one of a group of housing associations who have today published a prospectus outlining detailed proposals on how to provide more homes and improve lives across West Yorkshire as the region prepares to choose its first metro mayor.

The newly created West Yorkshire Housing Partnership, made up of 10 housing associations with headquarters in the region, has pledged to work with the directly elected mayor, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and local authorities to achieve five integrated ambitions that support the devolution deal agreed with the Government in March.

As well as building new affordable properties, the group has made suggestions in a range of broad policy areas including regenerating local areas, connecting people to economic opportunity, tackling the climate emergency and fuel poverty, and supporting health, social care and homelessness.   

The document also sets a goal of establishing West Yorkshire as a "standard bearer of inclusion for people from all ethnicities."

Members of the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership include: Accent Housing, Connect Housing, Incommunities, Leeds Federated Housing Association, Leeds & Yorkshire Housing Association, Manningham Housing Association, Together Housing, Unity Homes & Enterprise, Wakefield District Housing and Yorkshire Housing 

Andy Wallhead, WDH Chief Executive, said: "All of the partners involved share the same absolute commitment to making the region a great place to live. With the introduction of the metro mayor, we have a great opportunity to drive improvements, make changes that impact people’s lives for the better and shape policy for the future.

"Housing has a key role to play. Not only do we have the opportunity to create great places to live but we are also helping to stimulate the economy, create economic growth and reinvigorate our towns and city centres. As the largest social housing provider within West Yorkshire, WDH is committed to playing its part and working with its partners and the new mayor to deliver joint ambitions."

Steve Close, Together Housing Chief Executive, said:

"Devolution offers an exceptional opportunity for the region’s housing organisations to work closely with the metro mayor, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and other partnership organisations to deliver real results.

"These are best achieved by uniting around a set of shared goals.  

"The five ambitions we have set for West Yorkshire represent our considered view on what is attainable if we all pull in the same direction.

"West Yorkshire Housing Partnership representatives look forward to discussing our proposals with mayoral candidates and political parties on a strictly non-partisan basis over the coming months."  

Nick Atkin, Yorkshire Housing Chief Executive, said:

"Providing more high quality homes will always be the key driver for housing associations here in West Yorkshire, where we need to build 5,000 additional properties each year to simply meet regional requirements.  

"However, our array of services and in-house expertise have a much wider focus.  

"Stimulating local regeneration, helping people into work and training, improving health outcomes and tackling inequalities are amongst the many activities we engage in every day.

"This work makes a huge difference but, by partnering with other major players including the new metro mayor, we can achieve so much more."       

Helen Lennon, Connect Housing Chief Executive, said:

"Housing associations are uniquely close to the communities we serve.  Our staff listen, learn and act to address local needs.

"Having the opportunity to work in tandem with the devolved administration led by a directly elected mayor presents a host of exciting possibilities.  

"Our partnership of independent housing associations is motivated by a desire to create imaginative and workable policy solutions to benefit people in need. 

"West Yorkshire can make real progress under the new governance arrangements and we want to play a full part in delivering the bright future that lies ahead."  

Journalists, stakeholders or interested parties can ask questions of the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership online between 10am-11am on Wednesday 21 October.  Questions and comments can be made via Twitter at - @wyhousing. 

The inaugural West Yorkshire mayoral election is due to be held on Thursday 6 May 2021.

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