Housing Advisers Programme 2020/21 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. Seventeen successful projects 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

Bristol City Council

Strengthening engagement with private landlords to seek their views and understand their perception of supporting young people within the sector and explore models of support for young people in accessing and maintaining shared tenancies. The project will also identify what internal system change would be needed to a) build capacity within the end-to-end referral processes to enable the council to support more young people to move into the PRS and b) engage with young people in a more proactive and positive way to break down some of the myths around private renting.

Castle Point Borough Council

Partners: All members of the Association of South Essex Local Authorities: Thurrock Council, Brentwood Borough Council, Basildon Borough Council, Castle Point Borough Council, Essex County Council, Rochford District Council, Southend on Sea Borough Council.

A short programme of collaborative work between the Chief Executives of the South Essex Local Authorities and the Chief Executives of Regional Housing Associations to explore how strategic partnership working between Local Authorities and Housing Associations can enable a sustainable housing delivery programme in South Essex and support economic recovery from COVID-19.

Cornwall Council

Developing the capacity of the Voluntary, Community and Faith sectors in Cornwall and developing a Strategic Homelessness Forum that demonstrates leadership, creativity and innovation as part of the approach to prevent and reduce homelessness and complement existing service provision.

Council of the Isles of Scilly

Exploring the appropriate delivery vehicle, either a Community Land Trust (CLT) or a Community Development Trust (CDT), to support the delivery of community-led, low-carbon, housing on the islands and provide a sustainable business plan for that entity. The establishment of a CLT or CDT will empower the local community to work towards resolving the issues resulting from the lack of housing in an environment where the market has failed to deliver.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

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Exploring the opportunities to utilise Modern Methods of Construction in the delivery of new affordable homes by East Riding of Yorkshire Council and produce an indicative development programme based on the recommended approach which can help steer a development through council processes.

Hertfordshire County Council

Partners: Hertfordshire County Council is lead partner of the Hertfordshire Property Partnership (HPP): Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Broxbourne Borough Council, Dacorum Borough Council, East Herts District Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, North Herts District Council, St Albans District Council, Stevenage Borough Council, Three Rivers District Council, Watford Borough Council.

Investigating the options available to local authorities in Hertfordshire to work together on the provision of temporary accommodation, in order to better meet the needs of households. This will enable authorities to manage their individual statutory accountability and financial responsibilities in a way that supports a strategic ambition of managing the provision of temporary accommodation on a joined-up and county wide basis.

Hertsmere Borough Council

Procuring expert advice to complete an analysis to underpin and then formulate an Affordable Housing and Tenancy Policy. This will allow Hertsmere to set out suitable property sizes and tenure requirements for genuinely affordable Section 106 housing and strengthen the council’s position when negotiating housing on new developments within the borough.

Isle of Wight Council

Identifying the specific adjustments needed energy specifications to deliver Zero Carbon Standard new homes. This will include creating a Modern Ventilation Specification for airtight properties and exploring the implications of raising building quality standards for the supply of new homes in order to mitigate any risks to delivery.

King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council

Partners: Breckland Council, Broadland District Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Norwich City Council, North Norfolk District Council, South Norfolk District Council, Norfolk County Council.

Working with people with lived experience of homelessness to bring co-production to the heart of the No Homelessness in Norfolk project. The project will support the creation of space for collaboration and reflection and bring diverse perspectives into the room to unpack some of today’s toughest challenges, explore similarities and challenge assumptions.

Mid Devon District Council

Developing a development framework assessment tool for the delivery of affordable low carbon homes. The framework assessment tool will focus on facilitating the delivery of 70 affordable-led, low carbon homes at Post Hill, Tiverton, which will act as a ‘pilot development’ to provide Mid Devon District Council with the experience and skills to transfer the approach elsewhere as well as building in-house capacity and knowledge on the delivery of low cost, low carbon affordable housing solutions.

Oxford City Council

Developing a strategy for further implementation of an existing pilot project for affordable, community-led housing project on underused urban land. This will involve bringing forward a pipeline of disused parcels of brownfield land owned by Oxford City Council in order to build zero-carbon homes using natural materials, and modular off-site homes, for people on the housing register.

South Gloucestershire Council

Accelerate the delivery of a pilot 100 per cent Custom and Self-Build site consisting of six plots of 1.5 storey, 3-bedroom dwellings with parking and rear gardens. The funding will be invested in the delivery of the site, namely sales and marketing the plots through engaging with registered applicants on the self-build register.

Sunderland City Council

Developing a toolkit of principles and specifications for the delivery of carbon reduction initiatives within existing and new build homes in Sunderland through the creation of a framework of delivery partners across the public and private sectors.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Developing a preventative model to address rent debt with a particular focus on BAME communities in North Kensington, focusing on resident engagement and research to address financial exclusion and barriers to paying rent.

West of England Combined Authority

Partners: Bristol City Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, South Gloucestershire Council, North Somerset Council.

Investigating the barriers to private landlords improving the energy efficiency of their properties to be in compliance with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards. The research will help design engagement and service offers to encourage more landlords to improve their properties, not only to the current requirements, but with the understanding that EPC targets will increase to band C.

Wokingham Borough Council

Building on a 2019/20 HAP project to commission advice on how to develop an innovative flexible homelessness support and prevention pathway which goes above statutory duties. This will be aimed at 18-25 year olds, including those owed a homelessness duty as well as those who are not but have been identified as hidden homeless and/or at high-risk of rough sleeping, many as a result of the pandemic and will include support alongside training and employment opportunities.