The Local Government Association is launching the fifth year of the Housing Advisers Programme, an innovative scheme to help councils overcome housing challenges in their local areas, with a focus this year on strategic housing projects that will support housing delivery.

The programme, which opens for bids today, boosts council capacity through the provision of independent expertise for councils undertaking specific projects to tackle the effects of the housing crisis in local communities – including on housing delivery, planning for homes, and reducing homelessness.

In the previous four years of the programme, the LGA has supported more than 125 projects across England, helping councils build homes, reduce homelessness and rough sleeping, plan for ageing populations, understand the student housing market, increase supply of modular housing and much more.

This year the programme will prioritise projects that will support councils and their communities in the direct delivery of new housing. 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 needs of communities.

The best practice and lessons learned from each project will be shared with councils and embedded into the sector support programme, which is delivered by the LGA and funded by government.

Cllr David Renard, LGA Housing spokesperson, said:

“Councils want to be able to play a key role in building new homes and tackling our housing shortage, which will be a central part of the recovery from the pandemic.

“The pandemic has demonstrated the importance and value of having a safe, secure and high-quality place to live.

“The Housing Advisers Programme has delivered a broad range of support since it was first launched five years ago, helping councils deliver local priorities by tapping into the expert advice they need to innovate and improve the delivery of homes and places, the quality and security of existing homes and/or to prevent and reduce homelessness

“We would recommend councils take a look at the programme as there are ways it can bring benefits to every local area.”