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UK’s largest housing association delivers record new homes despite COVID disruption

In the organisation’s results for the final quarter of 2020/21, Clarion said it has developed a total of 2,126 new homes in the year – 90% of which were for affordable tenures.


The figure represents a record number of new homes by the group, up from 2,101 new homes in 2019/20. In total, Clarion’s development pipeline stands at more than 20,000 homes.


It comes despite Clarion, which owns and manages 125,000 homes, being one of several large developers to shut its construction sites in March last year in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Similarly to other large associations, it is also having to contend with escalating fire safety costs.


The association’s unaudited accounts released on Wednesday show that Clarion increased its turnover from £842m in 2019/20 to £943m in 2020/21, delivering an operating surplus of £254m. This represents a 13% fall on the previous year’s operating surplus of £293m. However, the landlord said the 2019/20 results included £38m from large-scale stock transfers and one-off gains of £16m in interest costs.


Clarion, a member of the G15 group of London’s biggest landlords, said fire safety “remains a key priority” and that £26.7m was spent on fire safety remediation in the year.


Despite a “challenging trading environment”, outright market and shared ownership sales generated an income of £213.3m, up from £127.4m in 2019/20.


The landlord also said it formed part of a successful bidding partnership for the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, from which it received £4.5m with partners Fenland District Council and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council. Clarion will match this funding with the aim of upgrading 160 of the most energy-inefficient homes in its stock in that area.


Clare Miller, group chief executive of Clarion, said: “I’m delighted to report a strong financial and operational performance in what has been a challenging year for us all. Throughout 2020/21 our focus has been supporting our people, our residents and maintaining our services as a responsible social landlord.


“Through our Clarion Futures foundation, we have found work for over 2,500 people, including 215 apprenticeships, and I am particularly pleased to report the completion of a record number of new homes this year – 90% of which were for affordable tenures.”

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