Housing Advisers Programme 2019/20 project summaries

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. Nineteen successful applicants received money from the programme to promote, facilitate and enhance their role and capacity to meet their local housing need.

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Project summaries

Broadland District Council and South Norfolk Council

Through the implementation of a housing and homelessness transformation programme, Broadland District and South Norfolk Councils are bringing together their housing and homelessness services under a shared offer. Specialist expertise in whole-service re-design is required to develop solutions that drive innovation and efficiency and meet the needs of the people they serve.

Broxbourne Borough Council

A severe shortage of affordable housing has led Broxbourne Borough Council to agree to set up a Local Housing Company to acquire and develop affordable housing. Broxbourne Homes – intended to be a registered provider – will provide an innovative and financially viable model to deliver affordable housing and Broxbourne will use adviser support to set the company up.

City of York Council

After announcing their ambition to make York Carbon Neutral by 2030, the City of York Council Housing Delivery Programme seeks to develop all new homes to certified Passivhaus standards while meeting energy demand through on site renewable generation. They will use adviser support to help them deliver the programme, which is York’s largest building programme since the 1970s.

Cotswold District Council with Forest of Dean District Council and West Oxfordshire District Council

After declaring a climate emergency, Cotswold District Council and partners are seeking advice to develop a toolkit and supportive planning policies to enable the design and delivery of energy efficient/carbon neutral dwellings. Dwellings will be across a range of developments including single dwellings, rural exemption sites and retrofitting of existing stock.

Coventry City Council

With a rise in demand for temporary accommodation, Coventry City Council are keen to develop a mechanism to increase the supply of permanent affordable housing for those threatened with homelessness. The adviser support will enable Coventry to scope and consider various options before then delivering the best solution.

Essex County Council with 12 Districts/Boroughs and Unitary Authority

Essex is taking a joined-up, county-wide approach to reducing homelessness through their Essex Thrives programme. Essex Thrives is a whole-systems approach across housing, social care and the criminal justice system to reduce homelessness and requires specialist experience in strategic partnerships for implementation.

Harrogate Council

As Harrogate Council finalise their Local Plan, they are seeking support to unlock small development sites through effective engagement and communication with landowners, promoters and developers. Harrogate will also look at how small sites can be brought forward for self-build homes.

Kirklees Council

Kirklees Council are seeking to develop and implement a Custom-Build and Self-Build (C&SB) initiative for local residents. They will be looking to create serviced plots and offer them to individuals wanting to build their own homes, as well as groups that aspire to build as part of Community-Led-Housing schemes.

Leicester City Council

Leicester City Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and are committed to an ambitious goal of making Leicester carbon neutral by 2025. Through the adviser support, Leicester seeks to bring forward options for sustainable carbon-neutral homes for vulnerable residents requiring supported living. Their Housing Company will play a key role in in the building programme.

London Borough of Enfield

The London Borough of Enfield wants to prevent homelessness and eliminate the use of temporary accommodation through an expansion of customer-focused and outcomes-based models and greater partnerships with the third sector. They will use adviser support to develop an outcomes-based framework and grow the voluntary and community sector.

London Borough of Islington with London Housing Directors’ Group

In co-ordination with the London Housing Directors’ Group, the London Borough of Islington is leading a project to develop options for a pan-London skills programme. The programme will focus on developing and retaining local authority skills relating to the delivery of new council homes within the capital.

Oxford City Council and West Oxfordshire District Council

Oxford City Council and West Oxfordshire District Council are building on their Trailblazer work to transform their Housing Services towards creating a psychologically- and trauma- informed environment. Specialist advice will be used to deliver a training programme to ensure Housing Services are preventative, person-centred and holistic.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council with Sheffield City Council, Doncaster Council, Barnsley Council and Bassetlaw District Council

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council will lead a joint project with partners to develop a strategic needs assessment of the accommodation needs of people with a learning disability, autism, mental health, and those part of the Transforming Care Programme. They seek to ensure that housing plays a greater role in the Integrated Care System and understand future housing needs.

Shropshire Council

Shropshire Council will use expert advice to help them reduce their use of bed and breakfast temporary accommodation and generate savings for the Council. The Council will assess all aspects of temporary accommodation and re-design their housing offer to provide suitable accommodation for homeless individuals.

Somerset West and Taunton with all Somerset District Councils

In partnership with all district councils, local registered providers and commissioners in social care, Somerset West and Taunton is seeking to improve the supply of affordable, suitable housing for local communities. With the support of an adviser, they also want to improve the choice and offer of support services for those with specific vulnerabilities.

Stoke-On-Trent City Council

Stoke-On-Trent City Council are developing targeted approaches to effectively improve the quality of the private rented sector. They will use expert advice to develop a plan for improving local stock condition and exploring options for effective enforcement action.

West of England Combined Authority (WECA): Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council, South Gloucestershire Council

WECA are using expert advice to review the post-decision planning process in order to improve the quality of new housing development. By reviewing current practice, WECA and the four West of England local authorities seek to assess and implement service improvement and ensure quality design throughout the planning process.

Wokingham Borough Council

Wokingham Borough Council require adviser support to develop a more effective offer of suitable and secure housing for care leavers. They are seeking to transform their housing and children’s services to be more strategic and collaborative, ensuring greater life chances for children in care.