Autumn Councils Housing Conference

Autumn Councils Housing Conference

Unlocking sites to accelerate housing supply, the planning system, decarbonisation and funding challenges for councils, these are just some of the topics up for discussion at The Housing Forum’s Autumn Councils Housing Conference on the 25th November.

The speakers at the conference include representatives from The Housing Forum’s Local Councils Advisory Group, Councils Network and event sponsors, multi-disciplinary construction consultancy, Baily Garner and leading contractor, Claritas. The event will be chaired by John East, Local Councils Advisory Group Chair and Interim Strategic Director for Place at Winchester City Council.

Janice Morphet, Visiting Professor at the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London, will be discussing the results and recommendations from the ‘Third National Survey of Local Authority Housebuilding Activity’. The survey highlights the  variety, scale and range of housing delivery activity engaged in by councils, from development, acquisition, regeneration to joint working.

The Housing Forum launched its Better Procurement for Better Homes guide in October and Chief Executive, Shelagh Grant, will discuss the key recommendations at the conference.

Claire Bennie, Director at Municipal, will be giving a presentation about the GLA’s new Delivering Quality Homes Handbook — which illustrates 50 ways housing associations and councils can ‘enhance their culture, teams and processes to commission better quality homes’ — as well as the ‘action planning process’.

Can embracing new digitally led technologies and processes help unlock more sites for housing development and improve the quality of the homes delivered? Chris Spiceley Business Unit Director Claritas Four Zero will be addressing these questions in his presentation, as well as looking at how the challenges around sustainability and industrialisation/productivity can inform the way potential sites are viewed and the different approaches to the digitalisation of data.

The conference also features a presentation from Michelle Minogue at Bailey Garner, covering rooftop extensions, which will highlight a number of exemplar projects, whilst Housing Specialist at the Planning Officers Society and independent planning consultant Nicky Linihan’s discussion session will look at planning, the Planning White Paper’s proposals and how we can make the system work better.

In 2019 Leeds City Council declared a climate emergency. Nahim Ruhi-Khan, Head of Strategy and Investment, Resources and Housing, at the Council, will be delivering a presentation on retrofitting at scale. The Council is in the midst of delivering ambitious programme to retrofit a significant proportion of its 54,000 retained estate, with a number of projects currently underway, which will feature renewable technology. Nahim will talk about the challenges surrounding the decarbonisation of existing stock and how the Council is tackling them.

To conclude the conference there will be a panel session and extended Q&A focusing on the funding challenges for councils, for example balancing HRA with grant funding and the changes in 1-4-1 spend rules and impacts on delivery programmes and budgets. This session will also consider whether the removal of the HRA debt cap would provide a solution to some of the challenges surrounding funding.

The conference offers the ideal opportunity for councils and their supply chain partners to hear about all the latest research, insight and best practice from across the sector.

You can register for the Autumn Councils Housing Conference here

Header image ©ceebeestock/AdobeStock

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