Autograph Partnerships: Midland Road Development Acquired by Curo
23rd September 2020
Autograph Partnerships is a new initiative that aims to respond to the lack of affordable housing in the South West using the considerable experience of the Autograph team to provide a complete turnkey solution to housing associations and registered providers. Our team offers the knowledge and expertise to manage the entire process from site finding, land acquisition, obtaining planning permission, building and delivering finished units. We aim to provide a development route that offers both the quantity and variety of affordable housing stock that housing associations and registered providers are searching for.
We're proud to announce that our first Partnerships venture with Bath-based housing association Curo, will deliver 32 affordable homes at Midland Road, that we anticipate will be ready for occupation by Summer 2022. The majority of the one, two and three-bedroom apartments at Midland Road will be let to people on Bristol City Council's housing list – 16 at social rent and nine at an affordable rent. Another seven apartments will be sold through the affordable home ownership scheme, Shared Ownership.
There is an acute need for affordable housing in the South West of England. The National Housing Federation estimates that the region now needs "15,000 new affordable or intermediate need homes each year, of which 8,000 should be for social rent". Homes for the South West, a group of chief executives from some of the largest housing associations in the region, describe the current situation as "A regional housing crisis". They also warn against a race to the bottom by developers stating "While it is vital that we deliver more affordable homes more quickly, it is also important that the housing sector does not lose sight of the importance of delivering homes that stand up to modern scrutiny".
There is a desire within the housing association and registered provider community to develop a broader and more representative housing stock than has often been available through the section 106 provision of large scale housing developers. Victor da Cunha, Chief Executive of Curo said: "A successful, growing city such as Bristol needs to have the widest possible range of good quality housing in high value areas, such as the city centre, not only to meet the housing needs of its diverse residents but also to continue to be successful into the future. Lockdown has reminded us about the importance of 'home' and that society functions best when our bus drivers, care workers and shop assistants live locally and are part of the community."
At Midland Road, we've been delighted to be able to provide an end-to-end service for Curo. We've acquired and assembled the site, secured planning and entered a build phase which will ultimately deliver thoughtfully designed superior specification affordable homes to residents in the centre of Bristol. The ability to identify and unlock the potential of this site is a testament to the wealth of experience and specialist knowledge within the Partnerships senior team. Our size and flexibility as a local developer make us one of the few specialist providers in the South West capable of investing the time and resource to create the custom specification residential schemes that registered providers need.