In 1972, John Belcher founded South Yorkshire Housing Association (then called the Sheffield Family Housing Association). Inspired by the BBC drama Cathy Come Home, he wanted to help young homeless families in Sheffield.  

Around this time, several other housing associations were founded across the country; more quality and affordable homes were desperately needed to reduce and prevent homelessness. 

It’s 2020. 48 years later, we still need more homes. We are in the midst of a housing crisis – there is a lack of high-quality and affordable homes, and homelessness is still prevalent in our society. 


So, South Yorkshire Housing Association have committed to increasing the number of homes we can offer our customers. We’d like to increase the number of homes we manage by 1,180 by the year 2022.

However, there are challenges that we, and other housing associations, local authorities and developers, face: we need to identify ways of building homes as quickly and inexpensively as we can, whilst ensuring that they are both high-quality and affordable for the people living in them.

How can we do this?

South Yorkshire Housing Association is bold and innovative – we want to explore new ways of working and building.  

New ways of building homes have the potential to be better for the environment, to meet or exceed the standards of traditional builds, and to be quicker and cheaper to complete.  

This is not just to help to meet our target for 2022 – we will lead on testing and evaluating construction methods that could revolutionise the way we build homes in South Yorkshire and beyond. 

Alongside this, we will continue building homes using more traditional construction methods. And, as standard for South Yorkshire Housing Association developments, we are always looking for more ways to create homes and communities that have details with joy and beauty, that are kinder to the environment, and that explore new partnerships and ways of working. 


Over the next month or two, we’re going to share more about this online. We’ll be talking about:

  • our latest developments
  • the story of our pilot projects
  • our communities and the environment
  • more about ‘the SYHA house’

Join in with the conversation on #MoreNewHomes.

Hannah Dougherty, Marketing and Communications Officer
South Yorkshire Housing Association