Housing Advisers Programme FAQs

Housing Advisers Programme (HAP) funding is designed to support councils commission expert advice to help them deliver a project that helps meet the housing need of their local area. It aims to be simple, flexible, and locally led.


 

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

How many rounds of funding have there been already?

The Housing Advisers Programme was launched in 2017 and funding has been awarded once a year every year since. The 2022/23 programme is the sixth round of funding for this programme. 

Which organisations can apply for funding from the Housing Advisers Programme?

Large or small, urban or rural, we are looking for applications led by councils across England. The programme is open to councils at all levels, either individually or as a partnership. If you are forming a partnership of councils (and/or other organisations) a single council must lead the project. 

Can Welsh councils apply for funding from the Housing Advisers Programme?

The grant funding is for English councils only. We would encourage all councils to check out the LGA Housing Advisers Programme webpages for case studies which share learning from the programme across the sector. 

Which internal stakeholders should I speak to before applying and who should form the project team?

The application form will ask for the name and contact details of the project manager and the senior responsible officer, along with details of the project delivery and governance arrangements. It is up to you who forms the core project team but you must have sign off for the project from your council’s leader and chief executive, or appropriate lead member and senior officer before you apply.  

Do I need get sign-off from senior officers and/or members before applying to the Housing Advisers Programme?

Yes, you must have sign off for the project from your council’s leader and chief executive, or appropriate lead member and senior officer before you apply. 

How innovative does our proposed project have to be?

Our ask is that applications are for projects or approaches which are both innovative at a local or national level and: 

- tackle a local housing, homelessness or planning/place-making challenge 

- are led by a council and involve local people and/or partners 

- have corporate endorsement from the relevant lead officer(s) and/or portfolio holder(s) 

- are given the officer capacity to enable the project to succeed 

- are open to the prospect of external input and challenge from an adviser 

- are willing to share learning and experience from the programme with other councils. 

What should the application focus on?

Applications will be assessed by a panel of experts against the marking criteria outlined in the Housing Advisers Programme Prospectus.  

How long should the application be?

A good application will contain enough information to meet all of the marking criteria while remaining clear and succinct. Please read the online application form carefully before completing it, making a note of the word limits for individual answers. 

What projects might you look to focus on?

The programme will fund ambitious projects seeking to improve outcomes. Previous projects have spanned the full range of work in the housing, homelessness, planning and place-making policy areas, including: 

• strategy development 

• service design or redesign 

• improving or expanding delivery operations 

• upskilling the internal or external workforce 

• developing new partnerships 

Successful projects might focus on enabling councils and partners to: 

• directly build homes of the right mix of products, tenures and techniques 

• support the building or retrofitting of zero-carbon homes 

• meet the housing and wider support needs of low-income families 

• refresh homelessness services and partnerships to focus on long-term solutions 

• sustainably provide temporary accommodation 

• proactively enable the development of the right types of homes to meet local need 

• meet the needs of groups at risk of homelessness to prevent them becoming homeless 

• support improvements in the private rented sector 

• improve the quality of existing social housing 

• Explore different options for housing delivery like self-build, community land trusts (CLTs) and modern methods of construction (MMC) 

• reform the end-to-end planning process and the relationship with developers 

• achieve fair returns to communities from planning gain  

• empower council housing tenants 

Information about previous HAP projects is available on the 2021/22 HAP project summaries and the HAP case study pages.  

If you have had an LGA adviser before will this disadvantage you in this round?

No, participation in previous years of the Housing Advisers Programme will not form part of the selection process for HAP 2022/23.  

How competitive is the grant funding?

The Housing Advisers Programme is a popular programme and is frequently oversubscribed. We encourage all applications to be well thought through and to address the criteria set out in the HAP prospectus. Please read the online application form carefully before completing it, making a note of the word limits for individual answers. 

Can the programme fund different advisers with different skills on a single project?

Yes. Successful councils will be awarded a grant through which to procure advice for the project. This could be used to fund more than one adviser as necessary.

Does the project have to deliver in a specific timeline?

In your application a timeline of estimated milestones should be documented, and we would expect efforts to be made to keep to the timeline stated.  Ideally, we would like projects to be concluded by 31 December 2023, although this will depend on your project and circumstances. 

Can the same project get funding from more than one LGA programme e.g. One Public Estate (OPE) and the Housing Advisers Programme (HAP)?

Yes, a project can receive funding from the Housing Advisers Programme even if it has received funding from another LGA programme. However, we will be looking for evidence in your application that the HAP funding is adding additional value to your project.  

Could three separate local authorities working on a collaborative project all make an individual application if focused on different areas?

Yes.

What is the deadline for applying?

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 24 November 2022. 

What is the process after the application has been submitted? Is there any other documentation needed?

The LGA will use a panel of experts to assess bids shortly after the closing date. As part of this process there may be a need to engage with councils on a case-by-case basis. We will endeavour to minimise requests for additional documentation.  

We will inform councils who have submitted an application of the outcome of their submission no later than 12 December 2022. 

If the full funding is not used by December 2023, are councils expected to return it to the LGA or can this roll over to the next year if the work continues?

Conditions of the grant agreement for successful councils and potential extensions to an agreement should be discussed and agreed with the LGA on a case-by-case basis.  

If successful, what are the expectations relating to monitoring returns to check progress and delivery against agreed milestones?

The prospectus outlines that the LGA will have a continuing role as part of the project governance, which will enable us to monitor progress and delivery against agreed milestones and outputs. This will involve the submission of one or more brief progress reports during the project delivery process and the submission of a case study once the project is completed. The reporting process is not onerous and full details will be outlined in the grant agreement. 

If successful, how long do you have to spend the money? Is there a time limit?

In your application an estimated timeline of milestones should be documented, and we would expect effort to be made to keep to the timeline stated.  There will be a deadline in the conditions of the grant agreement of 31 December 2023. However, we understand circumstances can change and are willing to discuss flexing this deadline on a case-by-case basis, depending on your project and circumstances. 

When do you find out if you were successful?

We will inform councils who have submitted an application of the outcome of their submission no later than 12 December 2022. 

If successful, when can we start using the funding?

Grants will be awarded to successful councils as soon as the relevant paperwork has been signed by the LGA and the successful councils. We will start this process with successful councils from 5 January 2022.  

Do you receive the money in one lump sum or small sums over a period?

The grants for successful councils will be awarded in one lump sum.