Homes England is seeking new strategic partners with the ambition and capacity to deliver affordable housing at scale – and has opened a competitive bid round for its latest intake of partnerships.
The government’s housing agency has also updated its strategic partnership model, opening up to a broader range of partners.
While strategic partnerships have historically only been available to not-for-profit providers, this time Homes England is welcoming proposals from for-profit affordable housing providers and developers, and local authorities.
Strategic partnerships are one of two routes to access grant funding from Homes England through the government’s Affordable Homes Programme (2021-2026).
Rather than access funding on a scheme-by-scheme basis (via continuous market engagement), strategic partners enter into a multi-year grant agreement with Homes England to deliver affordable housing.
Strategic partnerships play a pivotal role in Homes England’s mission to use everything at its disposal to intervene in the market to make homes happen. Partners can benefit from the certainty of affordable homes grant funding for the duration of the deal, with greater flexibility to deliver and bespoke access to the agency’s land and investment capabilities.
In return, strategic partners need to demonstrate how they are supporting Homes England’s strategic objectives within their development programme. This includes the adoption of modern methods of construction (MMC), a dedication to high-quality sustainable design and a commitment to working closely with SMEs.
Gordon More, interim chief executive at Homes England, said: “Our strategic partnership model is about working with ambitious organisations to maximise successful delivery through government funding and use of our wider resources so we can increase innovation, diversify the sector and increase the supply of much needed affordable homes.
“Building on the successes of our existing strategic partnerships, we’re welcoming bids from a broader set of partners that are as committed as we are to design quality and modernisation.”
Organisations interested in applying have until noon, 18 May 2021 to submit their proposal online.