LGA opens bids for housing advisers programme

This year’s scheme comes as LGA calls on the government to trigger a ‘renaissance’ in council house building.

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The Housing Advisers Programme, set up by the LGA to help councils overcome housing challenges in their local areas, is opening for bids today (May 15).

Last year, more than 40 projects across the country were supported through the programme for the first time, with councils launching initiatives on everything from increasing housebuilding to reducing homelessness in their communities.

The programme will fund adviser support for up to £14,000 to each council, and up to £28,000 for a smaller number of larger projects to tackle the effects of the housing crisis in local communities – including on housing delivery, planning for homes and reducing homelessness.

Each project will take its lead from the local communities they are based in, with the adviser supplied to the local authority offering expertise and advice to help councils achieve their objectives.

Best practice and lessons learned from each project will be shared with councils and embedding into the sector-led improvement currently on offer from the LGA.

The programme launches against a backdrop of rising house prices and homelessness.

There continues to be an ongoing shortfall of new homes supplied in England, with the net additional dwellings supplied last year 217,350, a marked increase on recent years and yet still 80,000 homes short of the 300,000 it is widely agreed are needed each year.

As well as the ongoing efforts through the programme, the LGA is calling on the government to trigger a renaissance in council house building.

This needs to include lifting the housing borrowing cap for all councils and allowing them to keep 100% of Right to Buy receipts.

Cllr Martin Tett, LGA housing spokesman, said the programme had the potential to make a “huge difference” to councils and the communities they serve.

“Over the last year, more than 40 local authorities have been supported to tackle our shortage of homes at the local level, and it can make a hugely positive difference, from tackling homelessness to encouraging housebuilding.

“However, there’s only so much councils can do on their own, which is why we continue to call on the government to lift the housing borrowing cap across the country and enable councils to keep 100% of the receipts from sales of homes under Right to Buy.

  • Expressions of interest in the programme can be sent in from today (May 15) and will close on 26 June.

Details on how to submit applications can be found on the LGA Website or by emailing housingadvisers@local.gov.uk.

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