Blog

We’re not building homes. We’re building futures

May 29th 2015

Torus group chair, Graham Burgess

Right now, we’re facing a rapidly changing context. The development of city regions, the northern powerhouse and regional government appears to be something George Osborne is keen to press on with and I for one find the prospect tantalising.

With grant finance and strategic planning functions likely to be run at a local level a key focus will almost certainly be regeneration.

For me, after 40 years in the public sector, regeneration is about people not property. It’s not simply about building new homes, property developers do that. True regeneration is a combination of social, economic and physical actions all working together to make a difference in local communities and the people who live them.

This is what Torus is all about and why I’m proud to be part of it.

Built on the foundations of two high performing organisations, with a track record of making a difference to communities and individuals, Torus has ambitious plans.

Over the next five years we have committed to building 1,500 new homes in the North West. For rent, shared ownership or outright sale.

There’s no doubt that building homes is crucial for economic growth. After all, construction creates jobs. However, we won’t simply be building homes and generating income.

At a time when people struggle to own a home and private rents stretch pockets to the seams, this will be housing that has people not profit at its heart.

Every penny we make from our properties from rent, from shared ownership or from sale, will be reinvested into our existing stock and the services we offer via GGHT and Helena. Our profit will have a social purpose.

In neighbourhoods where social and economic factors challenge personal independence, we will provide not just a roof but support too. Working with local and regional partners we will revitalise opportunities in employment and training, education and health. By aligning development and estate management we will focus on building stronger more engaged communities.

Regeneration isn’t just about housing and development. Development is easy, but regeneration takes time, trust, purpose and partnership. It’s about creating a legacy that extends well beyond the homes we own and build.

That’s why, as Torus, we’re not just building homes, we’re building futures and that’s what regeneration should be about.