Published: 6th Dec 2011

As cuts start to bite and public services and regeneration funds are withdrawn, housing associations are picking up the extra demand. But can they, and should they, fill the gap in regeneration provision? Clare Goff and Austin Macauley investigate When the Accord Group of housing associations wanted to ensure local supplies of the timber frames it uses to build new housing in Redditch, it decided to open its own factory. Based in Beechdale, the factory employs 30 staff and will supply timber frames for 250 homes in its first year of business. Moving into manufacturing may be an unusual move for a housing provider but it’s just one of the new avenues being taken up by housing associations as they expand their remit in local economic development. As Chris Handy, chief executive of the Accord Group, says, the factory allows the group to reduce its carbon footprint as well as … (To read the full article, subscribe below)