JV North members have been working together to navigate the risks and capitalise on the opportunities created by the coronavirus.
When lockdown was announced the consortium’s programme management consultant Saffer Cooper hosted twice weekly video conferences with JV North’s Development Group to provide extra support and guidance.
And weekly sessions continue to take place.
JV North’s Development Group is made up of key operational people from the consortium’s eight full members: Community Gateway Association, Jigsaw, One Manchester, Sovini, Torus, Trafford Housing Trust, Weaver Vale Housing Trust and Wythenshawe Community Housing Group.
Subjects discussed include health and safety, homebuilding construction contracts, tenures, risk management systems, identifying opportunities and the sharing of market intelligence and data.
Experts such as Anthony Collins Solicitors have also taken part to share their specialist knowledge and answer members’ questions.
Assistant Director of Development at Weaver Vale Housing Trust, Jo Fallon, said: “Members have worked in genuine collaboration and have drawn on expert advice to help mitigate the risks to help inform our response to the outbreak.
“We have also worked closely with our consultant and contractor partners regionally and nationally to get a wider perspective in terms of construction and sales, drawing on expert advice where required.
“We have found it very useful in providing a clear channel of communication to Homes England, providing details of JV North’s response, which will ultimately help Homes England shape its response back to the sector.”
Community Gateway Association’s Development Manager, Stephen Galbraith, said: “It’s been really useful speaking frequently with other JV North members during video conference calls; it’s provided reassurance in very uncertain times.
“Things were moving extremely quickly when lockdown was announced and there were a lot of unknowns but JV North’s support helped us navigate our way through.
“The video sessions allow us to share information, consider alternative ways of working and discuss how we can improve.
“Crucially, it lets us all benchmark our approach to the current and emerging risks and opportunities.
“The added value of ongoing support, advice, greater collaboration and shared learning provided by JV North is invaluable.”
Sean Stafford, who is Director at Saffer Cooper, said: “JV North is all about partnerships and how members can achieve more together.
“The consortium offers housing associations and local authorities much more than a vehicle to bid for Homes England grant and procure works from our framework.
“This has been highlighted during COVID-19 as members face a range of new, unforeseen challenges.
“The overarching aim is to help the consortium continue to meet its new home delivery targets; we’ve a very big programme and know the need for high quality housing is more important than ever.”
JV North is building over 4,550 properties in the 2016/21 Shared Ownership Affordable Homes Programme with members investing £475m, supported by Homes England grant of £150m.