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Bidding process opened for housing advisers

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Councils can bid for up to £14,000 for an adviser focused on tackling housing challenges in their area.

The Local Government Association has today launched its housing advisers programme which will provide support to areas undertaking housing projects which are either particularly innovative, aimed at reducing homelessness or helping generate savings or revenues.

While the LGA will lead on the recruitment of advisers for each council, the individual will be based within each successful local authority. The £14,000 figure has been calculated on the basis of 20 days of support at a day rate of £700. However, councils could reduce the number of days to pay a higher day rate if they choose to, while they will also be able to top-up the pot with their own money.

Money for the project forms part of Department for Communities & Local Government funding for sector-led improvement. LGC asked how much funding in total had been set aside for this programme but had not received a response at the time of publication. However, LGC understands there is some flexibility to increase the amount of funding should there be a high level of demand.

Participating councils and advisers will be asked to write up their experiences and impact of the project for the LGA so any lessons learned can be passed on to other councils.

The LGA is still calling on the government to give councils the freedoms to build more homes and infrastructure directly.

Martin Tett (Con), housing spokesman for the LGA, said: “There’s no substitute for central government giving local authorities the tools they need to invest in the homes, of all type and tenure, which their communities desperately need.

“However, councils need the best tools available to them to help build on the innovation in the sector. The housing advisers programme will be an essential aid to councils wanting some expertise to innovate, and improve in their efforts to help build homes, plan prosperous places and economies, and reduce homelessness.”

Any council wishing to express interest in the housing advisers programme should email housingadvisers@local.gov.uk by 12 September.

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