At a challenging time for the sector, the role of finance and treasury is critical

Paul Rickard, 07 July 2020

The housing sector faces regular challenges, but the current crisis is the most acute for generations. It affects our residents, our businesses, and our staff in significant ways.  

It once again draws attention to the old adage ‘cash is king’ and forces us to revisit the way we work, manage risk, and plan for the future. There is no doubt that the role of finance and treasury is critical in keeping us and all of our residents, communities and staff safe whilst ensuring we can still deliver much needed affordable homes.  

The past few months at Pocket have been extremely challenging. We are conscious that many of our residents are the key workers currently keeping the country going, which has meant we are determined to keep progressing construction and our planning applications to keep delivering for them. But it has not been easy – on any front.

With so many people in need of affordable housing and additionality of delivery becoming more and more challenging, now is the time to come together, share best practice, and do everything we can to maximise housing delivery.

I’m delighted to be chairing the National Housing Federation’s upcoming Treasury in Housing virtual conference.

We’ll be looking at new challenges, such as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, as well as challenges and opportunities that were here before the current crisis, including accessibility of funding, alternative sources of funding including overseas investors, and the switch from LIBOR to SONIA.

We will be discussing and attempting to answer some of the big questions around the role of equity in delivering affordable homes, the benefits of assessing by environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, the impact of coronavirus on regulatory standards, and the wider role we can all play in supporting the nation – those hit by coronavirus and those working tirelessly to keep us all safe.

In a virtual environment, there will still be opportunities to network and as well as keynote addresses there will be smaller roundtable discussions to encourage and maximise learning within what has always been a very collaborative sector.  

It’s an opportunity to hear from treasury thought leaders both in and out of the sector, pool and share our learnings, and provide valuable take-aways that will strengthen our businesses and help ensure we do our bit for the delivery of affordable homes.  

I look forward to seeing you at the conference.