Homes England launches strategic partnerships bidding for 2021-26 affordable homes grant funding

Private developers and councils will have a chance for bid for affordable housing funding ..

The Government’s housing agency has opened a competitive bid round for its latest intake of strategic partnerships. Homes England is seeking strategic partners with the ambition and capacity to deliver affordable housing at scale; organisations interested in applying now have until noon, 18 May 2021 to submit their proposal online.

Strategic partnerships are one of two routes to access grant funding from Homes England through the Government’s £11.5bn 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. 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 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 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.”

While the body has not put an exact figure on the amount it plans to allocate under the strategic partnership programme, the last Affordable Homes Programme saw Homes England allocate £1.8bn to 27 partners to deliver more than 40,000 homes.

For more information about strategic partnerships and the Affordable Homes Programme (2021-2026) please visit Homes England set to launch bidding for strategic partnerships – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

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