Council buyers prepare for housing bonus

10 August 2010

10 August 2010 | Angeline Albert

Local government procurement teams may be in for extra work following the UK government’s decision to offer a financial incentive to councils that support house building.

The New Homes Bonus is designed to provide direct and substantial funding support for house building, including private sector and local government programmes. It could increase tendering work for buyers at those authorities that take it up.

Lawrence Brown, procurement officer for Torbay Council, said: “This announcement is going against the grain a bit, since as an authority we’re bracing ourselves for cutbacks. What bearing it will have on Torbay Council, we will see. We are a procurement team of six. If this results in more tendering work and a larger team that would be great. The procurement team is ready and waiting to take on the work if it’s there.”

Housing minister Grant Shapps said: “These new powerful incentives to build will be introduced early in the spending review period. And it’s why I have confirmed that those councils who go for growth by providing planning permission now will reap the rewards. So I urge councils to seize the moment and open up a debate with their communities now about the new homes they need and how they would use the new bonus.”

The Department for Communities and Local Government wants to hear the views of councils, communities and industry as it finalises the scheme. A consultation paper will be published following the government’s spending review.

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