The unprecedented budget cuts across the public sector make it imperative to review social housing procurement to encourage more integrated working.
Procure Plus, the North West regeneration social housing consortium, has called for greater collaboration in the housing sector following the recent Comprehensive Spending Review. The consortium believes the CSR should be the trigger for a positive review of social housing procurement to encourage more integrated working.
Registered providers of social housing have been urged to work more closely with other agencies and the construction industry, especially when it comes to the purchase of building materials and services.
The call comes against the background in the housing sector for organisations, and to some extent, individuals, to work independently.
Demonstrating these principles in practice, Procure Plus has worked with Arms Length Management Organisation, Stockport Homes, to deliver new kitchens and bathrooms as part of its Decent Homes programme. By working with Procure Plus to purchase the labour and materials for this work, and by completing the upgrade across different areas at the same time rather than sequentially, Stockport Homes has generated annual savings of between £1.2m and £2.8m per year. This money was then recycled back into its housing stock, including, amongst other tenant inspired ideas, numerous showers to be installed in the majority of its properties, and ultimately provide a better standard of home.