HOUSING in the UK is in a crisis situation. It’s a crisis with multiple dimensions.

Affordability, sustainability, suitability, demand and uncertain national policy to name just five.

But one organisation in the sector has a vision to tackle those challenges head on.

Magna Housing is to unveil that vision in April and it will represent a ten-year strategy to address some of the most pressing issues.

Chief executive, Selina White, said: “We will have an absolute focus on building the right homes of the right quality in the right places and in a sustainable way. As a business we are going to have to be agile and flexible to be able to help the communities we serve and respond to whatever the government decides is housing strategy. Our vision will be very ambitious.”

Magna provides housing and housing services in West Dorset and West Somerset, primarily rural areas. The organisation was born from of the transfer out of housing stock by local authorities in the past 30 years. Being a provider of housing in rural Dorset and Somerset presents particular problems explained Selina. “There are some real pockets of deprivation. Some villages are dying. Younger people are leaving and older people are choosing not to live in rural areas because of issues such as isolation and lack of transport,” she added.

The company provides around 9,000 homes across its region, roughly 6,000 of those in Dorset. As part of its future strategy, there are plans to build 500 additional homes in the next four years.

“There is a lot of work to be done in rural housing to support communities. That’s not just about houses, it’s also about helping communities to be sustainable,” said Selina.

The company employs 400 staff. Many live in Magna homes themselves and are deeply rooted in their own communities. Selina is particularly proud of the in-house maintenance services, everything from replacing doors and windows, dealing with boiler or water problems and indeed anything that needs fixing or sorting out.

“We have a great team and this direct and highly efficient service really helps us build trust in the brand.” Part of the success of Magna lies in its partnership working, not least with Dorset Council, the new unitary. But Magna may look to broaden its horizons and possibly expand beyond its traditional areas. Magna is also working with local business Rollalong on the off-site manufacturing of new homes.

The chief executive has 16 years’ experience in the property sector and took up her current post in July 2018. “I really wanted to join the organisation because I could see it had a huge amount of potential and was already a very successful and respected brand,” she said. “We are building on that and very much looking to the future. Everyone here is incredibly passionate about what we do and that is a hugely important factor in facing the big challenges coming along.”