Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has today (30 September 2020) announced Peter Freeman as the government’s chosen candidate for the role of Chair of Homes England, the government’s housing delivery body.
Peter, one of the most distinguished figures in the industry is well known for his renowned work to regenerate Kings Cross, with a track record of planning and delivering much needed revival of local areas, creating imaginative economic centres and places people want to visit and live.
As Chair, Peter will transform how Homes England operates, driving the delivery of much needed homes and infrastructure to support economic recovery and help protect the 2.3 million construction jobs, and ensure opportunities are spread across England.
Working with developers of all sizes and supporting emerging innovative ways to build such as modern methods of construction, he will spearhead Homes England’s support for more diverse and efficient housebuilding industry.
Homes England will also support the government to lay the foundations to deliver more homes in the future by working in partnership with local areas, offering expert support to councils for more ambitious plans to get more homes built and ensure the supporting infrastructure is also in place.
The decision to appoint Peter Freeman is subject to a pre-appointment scrutiny committee hearing with the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee in October. Should he be successful he will serve a 3-year term in the role.
Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
As the visionary behind the revival of Kings Cross, Peter has a track record of world-class regeneration and it is this along with his drive to create places people want to live that makes him a superb candidate to support our ambitious housing agenda.
We will work closely on our shared goal to deliver more homes, of high-quality design and environmental standards, with green spaces and new parks close at hand and tree lined streets are the norm – all as part of creating communities that people want to be a part of.
Peter Freeman said:
Homes England has a vital role to play in improving the lives of all those affected by the housing crisis. If appointed, and working closely with government, I believe we can, and must, deliver on the promise to provide homes to allow all to experience a better quality of life.
The key is not only in building the necessary quantity, quality and variety of housing, but in creating homes where people can enjoy a real sense of belonging to vibrant communities.
The Chair of Homes England is responsible for providing effective strategic leadership of the agency.
Peter Freeman is also the co-founder and a Non-Executive Director of Argent Group and Chair of Mayfield Market Towns Ltd. His previous roles include:
- Publisher of Freeman Guide to the Property Market
- Non-Executive Director of Land Securities property company
- Non-Executive Director of MEPC property company
- Chair of property industry steering group ‘Investment Property Forum’
- Chair of Judging Panel for Home of 2030 competition
- Awarded CBE in recognition of his services to housing and communities
- Principle author of industry report ‘Housing Sprint’
Should Peter Freeman be confirmed as Chair of Homes England, he plans to step down from his role as Chair of Mayfield Market Towns to avoid any perceived conflict of interest.
Homes England is the government’s housing accelerator, with responsibilities including:
- unlocking public and private land for development where the market cannot do it alone
- ensuring a range of investment products are available to support housebuilding and infrastructure, including more affordable housing and homes for rent through the government’s new affordable homes programme
- improving construction productivity through increased use of modern methods of construction
- creating a more competitive and sustainable market by supporting smaller builders and new entrants, and promoting better design and higher quality homes
- offering expert support to local authorities for priority locations to support more ambitious plans to get more homes built
- delivering government-backed financial products including Help to Buy to increase home ownership