Expert support on housing

The LGA’s Housing Advisers Programme is open for applications. 

Councils are at the heart of the country’s recovery – as house builders, housing enablers and landlords; as planners, place-shapers and agents of growth, transport and infrastructure; as responsible guardians to the vulnerable and those facing homelessness; and as democratically accountable leaders in the communities we serve. 

Councils share the collective national ambition to lead recovery, tackle their local housing crises, and create great places for current and future generations. 

To help councils achieve these ambitions, we are delighted to announce that the Housing Advisers Programme (HAP) has returned for a fifth year, and is open for applications for 2021/22.   

This innovative programme is part of the LGA’s sector-led improvement offer and is designed to support councils and their communities in a simple and flexible way.

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.

HAP will award up to £20,000 to successful applicants for the purpose of securing expert advice in transforming how a service or partnership meets the housing need of communities. 

To date, HAP has provided support to 125 projects that have delivered tangible outcomes for their communities.

The programme has also proven to be an excellent source of knowledge and expertise – allowing councils to share innovative ideas and ways to improve, whether building new homes, tackling homelessness, or planning thriving and flourishing places and economies.

Below are case studies illustrating the impact of the programme. For more information about the Housing Advisers Programme and how to apply, please visit the Housing Advisers webpage or email housingadvisers@local.gov.uk

The impact of housing advisers

Cotswold District Council, collaborating with neighbouring West Oxfordshire and Forest of Dean District Councils, secured funding from the LGA’s Housing Advisers Programme to co-produce a net zero carbon toolkit, to plug a gap in the market for succinct, direct, and practical advice on how to achieve net zero housing. 

The toolkit makes net zero carbon new-build and retrofit more accessible and is published under a Creative Communications licence that permits and encourages other councils to adapt and re-publish the tool, maximising its reach and impact. See www.local.gov.uk/case-studies/cotswold-district-council-co-production-net-zero-carbon-toolkit

Frustrated at the rising numbers of vulnerable people struggling to access homes and support that met their needs, the Somerset Strategic Housing Group project focused on joining up housing, health, and social care services. 

The project’s impact was a reduction in time to rehouse people who are bed blocking or ready to move on from short-term supported housing (66 and 45 per cent respectively) and a 30 per cent reduction in the number of people waiting to move on. See www.local.gov.uk/case-studies/better-futures-vulnerable-people

Consultants were commissioned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council to consider approaches to improve the private rented sector. They undertook research, collated 18 best practice case studies, and proposed a number of recommendations. 

As part of the process, the benefits of high-level engagement with tenants and landlords, and collaboration with other organisations, were realised, with 81 landlords responding to the landlord consultation. 

The project is supporting the council to develop a strategic plan to improve the private rented sector by addressing poor management and disrepair. View the full case study on the LGA website.

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