Housing Advisers Programme

The Housing Advisers Programme is designed to support councils seeking to innovate in meeting the housing needs of their communities.

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There was a significant nationwide housing crisis before COVID-19, but the virus has had, and will continue to have, an impact on the national economy, including the delivery of new homes.

The pandemic has also highlighted stark inequalities within our society, especially in health outcomes due to poor quality housing and a lack of green space. It has exacerbated the housing challenges already facing individuals, couples and families, hampered growth ambitions and put additional pressure on council services and budgets already facing significant financial strain.

Ultimately there is a crisis because housing is often unavailable, unaffordable, built in the wrong places and not appropriate for those that need it. There are multi-faceted reasons for this, which vary significantly across the country. There is no simple single ‘English’ housing market. Instead housing markets vary considerably both between and within local authority areas and the housing need and demand profiles of different areas are perhaps even more varied. What this means is that the national housing debate is often over-simplified and lacks recognition that housing is a complex and interconnected system within the economy and society.

That is why local government needs to be at the heart of the solution; 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; as democratically accountable leaders in the communities we serve.

There continues to be impressive innovation emerging across the breadth of local government’s housing activities and an ongoing emphasis from central government on the need to build homes. This includes an important acknowledgement of the role councils can play in achieving this.

The Local Government Association (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 (HAP), now in its fourth year.

For more information please read our Housing Advisers Programme Prospectus 2020/21.

The 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.

This year, the programme will prioritise strategic housing projects that will support councils and their communities to address COVID-19 and its wider impacts.

For 2020/21 the programme will aim to:

  • make a significant difference to the housing crisis
  • build capacity in councils, so there is a lasting impact long after the HAP funding ends
  • ensure that projects can become sustainable in the longer term
  • create learning about what works, so that the wider sector can benefit from the programme.

The programme will award up to £20,000 to each project for the purpose of securing expert advice in transforming how a service or partnership meets the housing need of communities.

It will be for the local authority to ‘own’ the project, around which the advice would provide additional expert support in helping deliver transformation.

Successful councils will be awarded a grant through which to procure advice for the project, details of which will be discussed and agreed with the LGA.

The LGA will have a continuing role as part of the project governance.

The programme will coordinate and oversee projects, as well as integrate findings and learning into the LGA’s wider improvement offer.

How to apply and deadline

You can apply via our online application form.

The deadline for applying is 7 January 2021.

If you have any questions about the programme please visit our FAQs page or email housingadvisers@local.gov.uk.