12 December 2005 | Anusha Bradley
Ten London housing associations are to handover their materials buying to a national purchasing consortium for the social housing sector.
Buy4London, which represents 10 housing associations managing 120,000 properties, will continue to source labour and services locally but from next April it will hand over responsibility for buying goods to Procurement for Housing (PfH).
PfH was set up in March and already has 320 members throughout the UK. Buy4London, the largest social housing purchasing consortium in the capital, hopes to benefit from its buying power.
By 2010, Buy4London expects to spend around £70 million on materials using deals negotiated by PfH. That includes £17.5 million on boilers and £8 million on bathroom and kitchen goods.
Andrew Clough, sales and marketing manager for PfH, told SM that existing members already saved between 20 and 30 per cent on the price of boilers.
He said members of the national consortium not only secured better deals but because PfH made all the arrangements to advertise tenders, members were spared the expense of complying with EU procurement regulations. He said a tender requiring notification in the Official Journal of the European Union could take up to six months at a cost of up to £10,000.
Julie Craig, director of PfH, said: "The combination of national terms for materials and local procurement of labour is likely to give the best possible combination of efficiency gains."
A Housing Corporation grant paid for the creation of PfH as the purchasing body for the National Housing Federation and Chartered Institute of Housing.