Karbon’s aiming high

September 3, 2020

Ambitious housing association Karbon Homes is expanding its development programme in the North East and Yorkshire, aiming to build at least 500 affordable homes every year

The last year has seen some great achievements at Karbon Homes. Now the organisation is three years old, it’s increasing the scale and scope of what it can achieve – and continuing to grow from strength-to-strength.

Karbon owns and manages close to 30,000 homes across the North East and Yorkshire.

Like all businesses, it has had to focus on managing the massive demands of the coronavirus pandemic, but it is determined not to lose sight of the ambitions it has set for the year.

In the last financial year, Karbon saw its development programme expand in size by nearly a quarter, completing 534 homes, a significant increase on the 430 finished in 2018/19.

Karbon has been working hard with development partners and funders to regain momentum in its programme which had to be suspended in the early part of the year.

Charlotte Carpenter, executive director of growth and business development at Karbon (pictured right), says: “When Karbon Homes was created, it was with a mission to provide people with a strong foundation for life. We have always been driven by the belief that we could create the capacity to build more homes, and continue to improve our service and offer to customers – and now we are seeing the results of that.

“We aim to shape strong, sustainable places by not only building new homes, but also through significant investment in our existing homes and in a range of community projects.”

This year, Karbon is bringing forward some of its largest and most ambitious developments to date – and they are all supported by strong financial foundations.

In June this year, the landlord issued £100 million of new bonds, following a £150 million bond issue in November 2018.

This provided long-term security for the organisation, securing very low interest rates. Karbon has set out its strategy to focus on good quality, affordable homes that are tailored to local needs.

One example is College Grange in North Hylton, Sunderland, where the landlord is building 105 new affordable homes.

The mixed tenure scheme is regenerating the site of former college buildings, and is fantastically located for access to Sunderland city centre, as well as for transport links around the region.

But Karbon is also capable of delivering smaller scale developments to meet the needs of rural communities, including four projects currently ongoing in Tynedale.

Three of the four are regeneration projects, where Karbon will provide high-quality new homes to replace outmoded, smaller, less energy-efficient properties.

The vital element is to provide the tenure mix that is right for the location, and the demand from the local community. Developments can be a mix of affordable rented homes, Rent to Buy and shared ownership.

In central Newcastle, on the Helix development in the city centre, Karbon will be developing innovative new homes as part of the Future Homes Alliance.

This project will provide 66 new homes as an exemplar of sustainable urban housing, with flexible living space to suit residents’ changing needs. Homes will feature innovative concepts such as moveable partitions, so rooms and layout can be configured to suit the changing needs of different households.

Charlotte adds: “We are excited about what lies ahead, as it’s incredibly satisfying to see new customers moving into their homes and building the foundations to lead successful lives.”

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