Local authorities have been invited to bid for extra support to help them tackle the impact of COVID-19 on the housing crisis.
The Local Government Association (LGA) is launching the fourth year of the Housing Advisers Programme, a scheme to help councils overcome housing challenges in their local areas, with a focus this year on projects tackling the impact of COVID-19.
The programme, which opens for bids today, funds the provision of independent expertise for councils undertaking specific projects to tackle the effects of the housing crisis in local communities, including on housing delivery, planning for homes, and reducing homelessness.
It is offering up to £20,000 for each project.
‘There was a significant nationwide housing crisis before COVID-19, forcing difficult choices on individuals, couples and families, hampering growth, and putting significant pressure on local services and council budgets,’ said Cllr David Renard, LGA housing spokesman.
‘The pandemic has made these problems worse, and has highlighted stark inequalities within our society, especially the contribution of poor-quality housing and a lack of green space to ill-health.
‘However, local government is at the heart of the solution. The LGA’s Housing Advisers Programme can make a huge difference to councils and the communities they serve.’
The LGA has funded more than 100 projects across England over the last three years of the programme.
‘The programme aims to help councils deliver local priorities by tapping into the expert advice they need to innovate and improve in their efforts to build more homes, reduce homelessness, and address the impact of COVID-19 on their places and economies,’ said Cllr Renard.
‘It’s well worth councils who haven’t already done so looking at the programme and seeing how it can benefit them – a simple visit to the website is all that’s needed.’