Banner triangles

Affordable housing

The affordable housing sector remains a key lynchpin of the living sector, touching all other areas of sector activity, delivering financial resilience and attracting investment, as well as fulfilling core housing provision and community building.

Our philosophy

Our team specialises in affordable housing development, asset management and funding, with expert sub-teams that combine sector-specific and wider commercial expertise to give commercially astute, “best practice” advice to a diverse housing association client base, including major regional clients and smaller associations, as well as major sector funders and inward investors. More than that though, our work goes beyond advising on “the law”; our lawyers are active participants in the affordable housing, development and wider property sphere, working with external influencers and stakeholders such as the BPF, CIH, NatFed, HBF, LPDF, and other sector organisations, which means we are well placed to horizon gaze as well as represent our clients’ “coal face” issues to policy influencers. We diligently track emerging trends and best practice, always sharing knowledge with clients where appropriate and accommodating the macroeconomic pressures impacting the sector into our advice.

Our people

Our dedicated affordable housing team is part of the firm’s living sector group, providing ‘cradle to grave’ support for all residential needs. Led by David Perry, the team has significant experience of traditional and JV structured development acquisitions, developments and disposals across the social housing sector, as well as of asset management and funding work and operational landlord and tenant issues. We operate as one national team, able to provide support in all regions of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as on specialist disciplines such as plot sales, planning, litigation, construction, corporate, environment, banking and tax. We also have expertise in strategic development partnering with Homes England, estate regeneration work and settlement-scale land promotion, and therefore bring knowledge of acquisition and development work from single-unit asset management transactions through to sites with substantial infrastructure requirements. Members of our team are active members of the BPF’s residential management committee and have worked with the Law Commission on residential leasehold policy development, as well as working closely with the CIH.

Our relationships

Core to our service delivery model is an integrated partner-led approach, whereby the client partner and specialist partner leads are accessible to the client and a visible part of the service team. Our partners don’t disappear into the background once a new client is won. We work with senior management and instructing officers across the various departments of our clients’ businesses and, through active partnering, aim to bolster their strategic vision with sector understanding, legal and regulatory foresight and knowledge sharing. We work in a transparent, risk-managed way, allowing clients to measure, monitor, manage and mitigate challenges, as well as identify and exploit new opportunities. At the outset of a new relationship, we like to sit down with clients to better understand their objectives, challenges and pressure points with a view to developing a specific suite of core value adds that are designed in response to these needs. We don’t believe in a ‘blanket approach’ to client service, preferring to tailor our offering around our clients’ businesses.

And the results

Ranked in both the Chambers and Legal 500 directories and winner of Property Week’s RESI Award for Legal/Professional Team of the Year in 2020 and 2021, we are pleased to be able to point to external acknowledgment of our residential housing capability. However, more valuable to us is the fact that our client base continues to grow year on year, demonstrating sustained client satisfaction and delivery of consistently high client service. The work in which we are involved is at the leading edge of positive change for the sector, including as part of wider regeneration, infrastructure development, sustainability, finance matters and innovative shared equity housing models.

Insights

Read the latest articles and commentary from Shoosmiths or you can explore our full insights library.