Getting to know the team… John Walton, Partnerships & Acquisitions Director
How long have you been in the sector?
I have worked in the housing and residential development sector for 25 years.
What do you like most about your job?
I work for a Registered Provider because I am passionate about delivering affordable housing solutions for those in need, and this has been a motivating factor throughout my housing development career. I also love working with a diverse range of people who help me to create and deliver new homes and destinations.
What made you pursue this career?
I have a passion for property and for making a difference. Its really important that I feel that my job is challenging, worthwhile and rewarding.
What challenges do you face?
I have seen many changes in the housing industry over the past 25 years, but the one challenge that has remained consistent is that housing need is as great as ever. Effective partnerships, collaboration and tenacity have always been required, but they are needed now more than ever as we head into a new year and are also facing a period of real uncertainty. However, there are many opportunities to continue to make a difference which is what keeps me going!
What are you most looking forward to next year?
Working with stakeholders (both old and new) to help build awareness of St. Arthur Homes, our brand, and an RP that is passionate about delivering truly aspirational affordable new homes for those in housing need across the south and east of England.
What challenges does the sector face?
The affordable housing sector has changed enormously over the past ten years. However, it has an amazing ability to be agile and innovative in order to meet challenges such as housing market uncertainty, lower subsidy rates, existing asset management/portfolio issues, and changes to existing housing delivery models has meant that the sector continues to deliver. With a clear focus on affordable home ownership continuing to be a significant part of the current government’s thinking on housing, St. Arthur Homes is now strategically preparing a program of growth, but is mindful to consider challenges around our emergence as a business from Covid-19, proposed changes to Shared Ownership and the reality of increased competition in the sector in the future.
What sets St. Arthur Homes apart from its competitors?
St. Arthur Homes is passionate about investing in new, affordable homes that offer buyers uncompromising quality and affordability. Our sole focus is on delivering Shared Ownership homes and we are committed to working with both traditional and other for-profit RPs who are keen to create opportunity for growth through strong business partnerships. Being a small team, we also pride ourselves on being able to make considered decisions and move quickly when considering new opportunities too.
If you could change one thing about the property industry, what would it be?
The planning white paper is out for consultation until later this month. There are clearly some proposals within this that are aimed at speeding up the planning system and ensuring that our focus is all about tangible delivery of new homes on the ground, not just the delivery of planning approvals. I support any changes that help to make the planning system (and so the delivery of new affordable homes) more efficient.
Where do you see St. Arthur Homes being in five years’ time?
With a portfolio of over 2,000 homes in management, a well-recognised brand associated with the delivery of high-quality new homes for those in housing need, and a partner of choice for both national, regional and local builders, agents and land owners.