The first comprehensive guide to help housing associations and local authorities procure and deliver higher quality homes for their residents is being launched by The Housing Forum on 20th October at their National Conference.
The guide Better Procurement for Better Homes says housing clients need to provide a clear vision from the start of every project and monitor it closely throughout construction. Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive of Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing and Chair of the G15 group of housing associations, has endorsed the guide in a foreword.
Better Procurement for Better Homes sets out a series of guidelines for improving design and construction quality, avoiding costly mistakes and managing risks which include:
- The client setting a clear vision for the project’s design, procurement and delivery.
- Ensuring the right client project leadership and governance is in place to provide the necessary project guardianship.
- Promoting value-based procurement with clear selection criteria, including a price valuation model that recognises quality and does not promote a ‘race to the bottom’.
- Adopting a more collaborative approach between client, consultants and contractors to get the best value for money.
- Promoting early contractor appointment and engagement
- Maintaining a consistent contractor supply chain team and a design team in a responsible and influential role from concept to completion and occupation, so as to provide a golden thread of information as set out in the draft Building Safety Bill.
- Adopting measures to protect and lock in design quality.
- Adopting measures to ensure improved quality in construction through improved inspection.
- Ensuring residents are involved meaningfully throughout the process.
Better Procurement for Better Homes has been developed by a Housing Forum cross-sector working group chaired by Matthew Goulcher, Managing Director Levitt Bernstein, who says the guide comes at a hugely important juncture for housing.
“The quality failures that have come to light across many housing schemes, and tragically in the Grenfell Tower disaster, have galvanised unprecedented determination from industry and government to overhaul quality and safety,” Matthew said. “At the heart of this new mindset is an acceptance that improved procurement practices are essential to the reforms.”
Geeta Nanda added: “There is so much to do in ensuring that we provide the very best places we can for people to live whilst using our money wisely. We need also to earn and retain the trust of the communities we serve. This guide shows how it can be done.”
The guide provides pointers on the contractual tools, including pre-construction services agreements and project cost plans that can underpin a more collaborative approach and help reduce risks. A series of case studies drive the points home.
The Better Procurement for Better Homes guide is available to download here.