Dentons launches new housing group

Move comes as Government commits to spending £5bn on affordable housing

In response to the Government’s strategic change in housing policy, Denton Wilde Sapte has today (14 July) launched a dedicated affordable housing group, led by banking partner Natalie Elphicke.
The new group is made up of 40 fee-earners, including 10 partners, from across nine different practices.
It will target financial institutions that fund such projects, as well as the public bodies and property developers responsible for implementing them.
Dentons’ current clients in the arena include the Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS and Nationwide on the funding side; developers Grainger Trust and Thornfield Properties; and public organisations such as Barking and Dagenham Local Borough Council and English Partnerships.
Elphicke said it was a combination of client need and recent Government decisions in relation to social housing that has led to the formation of the group.
On 5 February, the Government made a commitment to invest up to £5bn in affordable homes in its strategy paper ‘Sustainable communities: building for the future’. Just a month later, the Housing Corporation announced that it would produce 20,645 homes in 2003-04 at a cost of £1.2bn.
On top of that, local authorities have made a commitment to implement a target of between 25 and 50 per cent targets of all new housing as affordable housing in private developments.
“The Government’s affordable housing policy is changing the way new housing developments are being planned and implemented,” said Elphicke. “As a firm with major practices in housing finance, planning and real estate, we’re pooling our collective experience with the establishment of [the group].”
Elphicke predicts that work in this area will continue to expand while such Government policies remain in place. “It’s the way the majority of people are going to have to think,” she said. “There’s been a quiet revolution in terms of how housing is being delivered.”