The Local Government Association (LGA) has today unveiled the Housing Advisers Programme – a new scheme to help councils tackle local housing challenges
The Programme, which funds the provision of an independent expert, is available to local authorities undertaking a specific project that delivers and plans for new homes, reduces homelessness, or helps councils generate savings or revenues.
Each local authority will “own” the project individually, with the adviser providing crucial expertise to help the council innovate and improve. Instructive experiences and lessons learned will be captured, and will be embedded into the LGA’s ongoing sector-led improvement support offer.
The Housing Advisers Programme is designed to encourage innovation amongst councils who need to meet the needs of their communities, against a backdrop of spiralling house prices, expensive and unstable rents, and more and more local residents priced out of owning a home of their own.
Last year, just over 160,000 homes were built, almost 90,000 less than the 250,000 homes a year it is estimated the country needs in order to meet the nation’s housing shortage.
The LGA, as it launches the Housing Advisers Programme, is calling once again on the Government to enable councils to build more good quality homes directly, to plan and invest in infrastructure and services that unlock housing and economic growth, and to tackle increasing levels of homelessness around the country.
In the meantime, innovation and expertise can assist councils facing the challenges of tackling the housing shortage. Expressions of interest need to be in before Tuesday 12 September 2017, details on how to do so can be found on the LGA website or at [email protected]
Cllr Martin Tett, LGA Housing spokesman, said:
“There’s no substitute for central government giving local authorities the tools they need to invest in the homes, of all type and tenure, which their communities desperately need.
“However, councils need the best tools available to them to help build on the innovation in the sector. The Housing Advisers Programme will be an essential aid to councils wanting some expertise to innovate, and improve in their efforts to help build homes, plan prosperous places and economies, and reduce homelessness.
“I’d urge fellow councillors from across the country to look at the programme and see how it can benefit their area – all it takes is a quick visit to our website to find out more.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The Housing Advisers Programme will fund adviser support for up to £14,000 to each council. Participating councils and advisers will be asked to write up their experiences and impact of the project for the benefit of sharing the learning across the local government family, and to participate in learning events and other promotional activity. To find out more, visit www.local.gov.uk/housing-advisers-programme
More info on the LGA’s housing board can be found here