Decision details

To enter into an agreement with Ark housing consultancy to support the delivery of Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Affordable Housing Partnership's priorities for the delivery of affordable homes across the JCS's Strategic Allocations

Decision Maker: Executive Director of Finance, Assets and Regeneration - Paul Jones

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

That Cheltenham Borough Council enters into an agreement with Ark housing consultancy to provide services to support the delivery of Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Affordable Housing Partnership’s  priorities for the delivery of affordable homes across the Joint Core Strategy’s Strategic Allocations.

 

The value of the contract will be approximately £22,000. The length of the contract will be until the funding is fully utilised, which we anticipate will be over a 3 year period.

Reasons for the decision:

1. Background

 

In June 2015 Cabinet approved the formation of a new Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Affordable Housing Partnership. This Partnership was established in response to the then proposed (and since adopted) Joint Core Strategy (JCS), which plans to deliver approximately 35,000 new homes across the JCS areas of Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury by 2031. This plan includes provision to support the otherwise unmet housing needs of Cheltenham and Gloucester. Specifically, the plan includes a number of Strategic Allocations (as detailed in Part 6 of the Joint Core Strategy). These Strategic Allocations will deliver up to 12,000 homes, of which up to 4,000 homes will be affordable housing.

 

The Affordable Housing Partnership’s Terms of Reference is at Appendix 1, but in summary its priorities are to:

 

1.    Maximise the delivery of affordable housing across the proposed Strategic Allocations

2.    Ensure these sites deliver communities that are cohesive and sustainable

3.    Support the Local Housing Authorities’ aims in reducing homelessness.

 

A key piece of work previously undertaken by the Affordable Housing Partnership was to select a number of Preferred Registered Providers who are aligned to these outcomes, and which the district authorities could then encourage private developers on the Strategic Allocations to work with (see Appendix 2 for our list of Preferred Registered Providers). Following the recruitment of our Preferred Registered Providers, the Affordable Housing Partnership have continued to develop and implement a work plan to help the Partnership support our priorities.

 

2. Role of Ark Housing Consultancy

 

In 2016, Ark Housing Consultancy were successful in tendering for a £30,000 contract (using Capacity Funding provided by Homes England to support the delivery of affordable housing on the Strategic Allocations). Specifically, Ark’s role was to assist the Affordable Housing Partnership in developing and implementing its work plan and included chairing and coordinating the partnership. Whilst there was provision to extend the contract, given the passage of time and changes in legislation it is now considered more appropriate to offer a new contract.

 

This consultancy support will be financed from additional remaining Capacity Funding of approximately £22,000 (which, again, was provided to the Affordable Housing Partnership by Homes England to support the delivery of affordable housing on the proposed Strategic Allocations). Cheltenham Borough Council holds this funding on behalf of the district housing authorities within Affordable Housing Partnership (i.e. Gloucester City and Tewkesbury Borough Councils).

Alternative options considered:

None.

Other reasons / organisations consulted

District authorities within the JCS Affordable Housing Partnership (i.e. Gloucester City Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council) are supportive.

Contact: Martin Stacy, Housing Strategy and Partnerships Manager 01242 264216 Email: martin.stacy@cheltenham.gov.uk.

Publication date: 23/06/2022

Date of decision: 22/06/2022

Accompanying Documents: