Housing alliance targets social benefits

8 December 2011

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8 December 2011 | Angeline Albert

An alliance between organisations that represent more than 1,000 social housing landlords aims to drive community benefits through purchasing, as well as saving money.

An aim of the partnership between the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC), Procurement for Housing (PfH) and Fusion21, is to encourage social landlords to consider the social, economic, and environmental impact of their purchasing in addition to saving money.

The groups, which between them have 1,170 members from the UK social housing sector including local authorities, will initially offer two framework agreements. The first agreement is for the retrofit of solar photovoltaic, solar thermal and insulation systems. The second agreement is a gas servicing framework, and will launch next April.

SMEs will be coached by the alliance on how to become an attractive supplier choice for landlords. The frameworks will also create training and work for the long-term unemployed, ex-offenders, the disabled and women wanting to enter the construction industry.

The frameworks were developed to help SMEs break into the social housing market. Landlords buying through these agreements will be supporting employment and training opportunities within framework suppliers for local people. Rather than appointing one large company as the main contractor, the alliance will also help small local suppliers offer their services on the frameworks.

Some 37 per cent of suppliers on the retrofit framework are SMEs, but the collaboration plans to increase this figure during the next six months.

In a joint statement the social housing groups said: “For every £1 million worth of work awarded to a supplier by this alliance, 1.5 jobs and training opportunities will be created within that supplier. This helps to reduce local unemployment and tackle skills shortages in certain areas.”


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