Housing Advisers Programme 2019/20

The Housing Advisers Programme is designed to support councils seeking to innovate in meeting the housing needs of their communities. The programme is now open for English authorities and will accept applications until 19 September 2019.


The programme is now open for English local authorities and will close on 19 September 2019.

There is a significant nationwide housing crisis; forcing difficult choices on families, distorting places, hampering growth, and putting untold pressure on local authority services and budgets.

Ultimately there is a crisis because housing is often unavailable, unaffordable, and not appropriate for those that need it. While there are a number of explanations for this, the reality is that housing markets are complex and interconnected systems, both within and with other parts of our economy and society, and they vary significantly around the country.

As housebuilders, housing enablers, and landlords; as planners, place-shapers, and agents of growth, transport and infrastructure; as responsible guardians to the vulnerable and the homeless; and as democratically accountable to our communities – local government is at the heart of the solution.

There is impressive innovation emerging across local government’s housing activities and a renewed emphasis from central government on the need to build homes, which includes an acknowledgement of the role councils can play in achieving this.

The LGA wants to help promote, facilitate and enhance the role and capacity of councils to meet local housing need. This is the ambition of the Housing Advisers Programme.

The Housing Advisers Programme is designed to support councils by helping them meet their local housing need. It aims to be simple, flexible, and locally-led.

In the previous two years of the Housing Advisers Programme we have funded over 100 councils to help councils build homes, reduce homelessness, plan for population ageing, understand the student housing market, increase supply of modular housing, and more.

We are now working hard to embed and share this learning, creating networks of participating councils, developing case studies, and arranging events. The programme will continue to fund the provision of bespoke expert support to councils – or groups of councils - wanting to transform the delivery of homes and places, the quality and security of existing homes, and/or to prevent and reduce homelessness. For 2019/20, we want to support a smaller number of larger, strategic housing projects.

The programme will award up to £50,000 to each project for the purpose of securing expert advice in transforming how a service or partnership meets a housing need of communities. The programme will fund ambitious projects seeking to improve outcomes, this might involve looking at:

  • strategy
  • service
  • design delivery
  • operations workforce
  • partnership

Find out more about what the programme can offer your council in our prospectus.

The Housing Advisers programme is now open for expressions of interest. Please email housingadvisers@local.gov.uk to request a form. The programme is open to all English councils, either individually or as a partnership. If you are forming a partnership of councils (and other organisations), a single council must lead the project. The deadline for submission of your expression of interest is 5pm on 19 September 2019.

The LGA will use a panel to assess bids and as part of this process will engage with councils as necessary. Prospective applicants must:

  • have already agreed corporate buy-in/support from the relevant lead officer(s) and/or portfolio holder(s)
  • contribute to the project to ensure success
  • be open to the prospect of external input and challenge from their adviser
  • have the officer capacity to enable the project to succeed
  • share their learning with the LGA and others, supported by our learning programme

Each expression of interest must address each question directly, not exceeding a maximum word length of 500 words for each question.

  • What is the project for which you are seeking support and why is it important for your area?
  • How much funding are you seeking from the Housing Advisers Programme to secure expert advice for the project?
  • In what areas do you need support and how can the Housing Advisers Programme provide added value?
  • What are the anticipated timescales, milestones and key outputs for the project?
  • What will success look like? How will you measure the outcomes?
  • How will the project have a sustained impact beyond the period of funding?
  • How will the learning from your approach be transferrable to other councils?

The application must be signed off by the local authority’s leader and chief executive, or appropriate lead member and senior officer (including the S151 officer where there are financial implications).