The revamped Housing Group got off to a great start with its first meeting attracting 26 participants representing house builders, planners, architects, designers and others with a major interest in the homes debate.

Penny Mordaunt MP for Portsmouth North and Minister of State for Trade requested to join the meeting as she is keen to see more ‘new, beautiful and affordable homes and derelict land and buildings brought back into use.’

Tweeting after the meeting, she said low quality housing stock needed to be improved and ‘ambition and vision’ is required in planning.

Chair of the Housing Group, CEO of Vivid Homes, Mark Perry set the scene for the meeting by outlining the issues and asking the group to share their thoughts on what could be achieved together.

A well informed discussion followed Penny’s input and following the meeting Mark said he was pleased with the level of debate.

“We were happy for Penny to join us and we recognise that housing is a political issue. It would be great for other politicians from across all parties and the region to join us at following meetings to share their views.

“I am keen that the Housing Group is not just a talking shop and we do need to be able to turn words into action so we will be taking-up some of the ideas generated at the first meeting,” he said.

The suggestion for the delivery of a Housing Manifesto for the Central South will be taken up and there are already plans for a Housing Summit in October.

The next meeting in August will focus on sustainability and regeneration.

“We have set ourselves clear goals for the first year and we will aim to have a Housing Manifesto for the Central South completed by March 2023.

“It’s important that everyone involved with the Housing Group has a chance to feed into the content of the Manifesto and I will be asking for input so we can create a meaningful document,” he said.