Our Housing Advisers Programme is designed to support councils seeking to innovate in meeting the housing needs of their communities. It aims to be simple, flexible, and locally-led. Successful projects receive money from the programme to promote, facilitate and enhance their role and capacity to deliver housing solutions to local residents.
Housing Advisers Programme 2022/23 project summaries
This year, the following 21 successful projects received money from the Housing Advisers Programme:
- Ashford Borough Council
Expert advice to enable authorities across East Kent to work together more collectively to understand how they can jointly procure, jointly commission, share expertise and skillsets, and explore the avenues that may be available to them to deliver more affordable housing as a collective with greater buying power, potentially leading to a strategic partnership status bid.
- Dacorum Borough Council
A review of Dacorum's Temporary Accommodation (TA) service, in particular with: Data analysis and financial modelling; Market intelligence and knowledge of best practice approaches to TA; Detailed understanding of the funding models (including LA general fund and benefits subsidy etc); Detailed understanding of the technical / regulatory environment in which TA operates; Survey, interview and focus group facilitation experience; Service operating model design expertise to ensure the management and maintenance arrangements are optimal.
- Derby City Council
Research to assess the feasibility of provision of low/zero interest loans to homeowners and private residential landlords to cover the gap between the amount available via a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) and the actual cost of carrying out works to make a property accessible for the disabled resident. The research will also want to use lessons learned for other similar challenges, such as retrofit/energy efficiency works.
- Durham County Council
A review of Durham’s current council house building programme and HRA business plan to determine ways of ensuring the viability of the programme in the light of rising construction costs and inflationary pressures, with a special focus on providing move-on accommodation to reduce budgetary pressures by lessening the reliance on temporary accommodation.
- East Suffolk Council
Working together, Suffolk’s Local Authorities will commission a county-wide housing strategy review aimed at increasing the number of genuinely affordable properties available to meet those in housing need. This may include improved schemes for returning long term Empty Homes back into use or enhanced schemes to access the Private Rented Sector.
- Ealing Council
Market research and soft market testing to identify suitable MMC delivery options and procurement routes for TA and a ‘stock infill house type’; Identifying, analysing, and mapping suitable sites for TA and longer-term infill homes; Testing the efficacy of a pilot scheme for 9 new social rent family homes, on a site in Northolt, using MMC.
- Gateshead Council
Create a 'Gateshead Standard' for older person’s accommodation in the borough, to be applied to the council's current older person’s accommodation, as well as other properties that may be repurposed to offer housing to older people and newbuild properties. The standard will also form a key part of engagement with registered providers via provider partnership meetings and developer forum to outline the council's expectations for existing and new older person’s accommodation in the borough.
- Gloucestershire County Council
Engage with current and potential future residents of mental health supported accommodation services for people recovering from mental ill health, as well as their friends, families, and advocates, to inform a service redesign
- Hertfordshire County Council
Continue work to provide Full Business Cases for the agreed options for local authorities in Hertfordshire working in partnership to better meet the needs of households requiring temporary accommodation.
- Kirklees Council
Resolve housing need and homelessness for all young people presenting aged 16 – 25 (care leavers and non-care leavers) in Kirklees, by refining housing pathways and creating greater strategic oversight of youth homelessness across departments, including creation/enhancement of the appropriate governance; buy-in and commitment models and shared outcomes and key performance indicators between a range of partners within Kirklees.
- Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
Develop a Cheshire & Merseyside Housing Strategy for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism. The strategy will promote people’s right to live independently within local communities and their right to access all forms of housing, including general needs accommodation.
- London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
Increase the number of energy efficient homes across the borough by addressing the finance gap that exists between the provision of means-tested grants and mainstream bank loans that are available to fund relevant physical improvements. The council will produce a detailed business case and feasibility study regarding the development of a fair, affordable and accessible 'green' loan by the council's partner, Leeds Credit Union (LCU), that would significantly increase the availability of sustainable green finance in the borough as part of a menu of options for residents to fund improvements.
- London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
The development of a new operating model for the Hammersmith and Fulham Disability Forum Planning Group (DFPG). The new operating model will focus on the provision of training and resources to empower both DFPG members and planning officers to engage in meaningful co-production to improve the quality of developments in the borough from an accessibility and inclusivity perspective.
- London Councils
Identify the principles and processes that would underpin an exemplar housing support service model to ensure that people with an eligibility for support receive the service they are entitled to. This project takes a holistic view of homelessness support, but particularly builds on the work that London Housing Directors have been leading to prevent rough sleeping and seeks to address the findings of the recent report that identified examples of failures in how London local authority housing services were responding to domestic abuse survivors approaching the councils for support.
Delivering for Tenants: The Foundations of an Effective Local Authority Landlord Service
The Delivering for Tenants: The Foundations of an Effective Local Authority Landlord Service report has been developed by the London Housing Directors’ Group, with support from London Councils, as a tool to assist councils in delivering high-performing landlord services. It was funded by the UK Government via the Local Government Association’s Housing Advisers Programme and developed with consultancy support from Savills.
The report sets out London Housing Directors’ views, developed in consultation with tenants and key stakeholders, on the principles that should underpin a good quality local authority landlord service, from strategic leadership to front line delivery.
The principles set out are aspirational and go beyond regulatory requirements. The report also includes an accompanying self-assessment assurance framework to monitor progress against achieving these ambitions. It provides a practical toolkit that local authorities and social landlords can use to measure their progress against the standards set out across five foundations: vision and strategy, leadership, management, performance and compliance, and assurance.
The report comes ahead of a changing regulatory system, with proactive regulation and new consumer standards expected to be introduced in 2024.
- Luton Borough Council
A piece of predictive analytic work which examines the impact of a range of economic and social factors on the prevalence of homelessness, in order to develop a model which Luton can use to anticipate and prepare for changes to demand
- North East Derbyshire District Council
Developing a robust and ambitious private sector housing strategy to help North East Derbyshire and Bolsover District councils engage with the private sector, to improve the quality of accommodation, develop good management practices, and reduce homelessness
- North Kesteven District Council
Establish the current needs and options across Lincolnshire for specialist accommodation for people with complex needs who are homeless and/or sleeping rough. Identify options and models for increasing the supply of supported and move on accommodation for this cohort, along with good practice examples of addressing accommodation and support needs and enabling access to accommodation.
- Norwich City Council
Tackle specific housing and homelessness challenges by developing a system-wide evidence base to predict and prevent homelessness amongst groups most at risk.
- Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council
Research and investigate options for sustainable temporary accommodation provision, specifically developing an initial assessment of options for direct delivery, such as commissioning delivery of units on council land using MMC, long lease options and property acquisition
- Plymouth City Council
An analysis of the strategies and policies implemented in comparable localities (high building costs and low sales values) that have been successful and innovative in delivering significant amounts of affordable housing.
- Woking Borough Council
Research to understand the barriers to rightsizing, so that we can make more efficient use of existing social housing stock by offering an attractive rightsizing package to tenants who are under-occupying their current homes
Housing Advisers Programme 2019/20 project summaries
Nineteen successful applicants received money from the programme to promote, facilitate and enhance their role and capacity to meet their local housing need.
Housing Advisers Programme 2020/21 project summaries
Seventeen successful projects received money from the programme to promote, facilitate and enhance their role and capacity to meet their local housing need.
Housing Advisers Programme 2021/22 project summaries
Twenty-seven successful projects received money from the programme to promote, facilitate and enhance their role and capacity to meet their local housing need.