QSH was founded in when MD, Paul Hardisty, was Service Director for Housing Transformation at Birmingham City Council.
Consultants hired to help prepare for an Inspection of the Strategic Housing service advised that the waiting list of 14,000 households plus 895 families in temporary accommodation, was, “…actually quite good for a City of Birmingham’s size…” These findings were subsequently endorsed by the Inspectorate through the award of a ‘Good’ rating with ‘Excellent Prospects for Improvement’.
If this was what a good Strategic Housing service looked like, it was clear to Paul that public grants would never be sufficient to meet the huge level of investment required in housing.
Whichever Government or Council was in power, any trumpeted ‘successes’ through ‘public grant’ funded housing, could only be a cosmetic exercise to cover up the true picture. What was actually needed was a massive level of investment. And so, QSH – initially known as Quality Social Housing – was conceived.
With investment from local entrepreneur Andy Measom, QSH was formed as a vehicle that could unlock potential private funding. It’s been a huge and complex task, with a number of ups and plenty of downs as we endeavoured to work out what works most effectively both for investors and the public sector – and it really needs to work for both.
The public sector is not in a position to undertake the entrepreneurial risk needed to create new solutions to the housing crisis, whilst deals on terms which work solely for Funds and investors are in most cases, simply not viable.
QSH has built and let housing through investment without any grant – with strong demand and the funds in place that can work effectively in most areas of the UK.