Future of London offers free housing support for boroughs

Montage of three new housing blocks plus an image of the London skyline with skyscraper against a blue, cloudy sky
Expert panel: housing development support for boroughs

London boroughs can access free support to maintain their council-led housing development pipeline as financial pressures grow.

All London boroughs can now get free support from housing experts as part of the Council-Led Housing Network (CLHN), which was launched in July 2023 with backing from the Mayor of London.

As local authorities across London re-establish themselves as major housebuilders, demand is increasing for knowledge, skills and expertise to enable them to tackle the housing crisis.

The free offer will help councils on a “financial knife-edge” to maintain their housing development pipeline at a time of increasing budget pressures. The expert panel provides access to professional consultants with a track record of working with local authorities.

Golden era of council housebuilding, says Deputy Mayor

Tom Copley, Deputy Mayor of London for Housing, said:

The Mayor and I are proud to be funding Future of London’s new Council-Led Housing Network as part of our commitment to champion council housebuilding across the capital.

“We have entered a golden era of council housebuilding in London. It is vital that we provide as much support as possible to councils as they tackle the social housing crisis and one of the key benefits this new panel offers to boroughs is access to free expert advice to support council-led delivery.”

“This support will help councils to continue developing the in-house skills needed for high quality council homes to be built, as we work toward a fairer and more prosperous London for everyone.”

It is vital that we provide as much support as possible to councils as they tackle the social housing crisis and one of the key benefits this new panel offers to boroughs is access to free expert advice to support council-led delivery.

“This support will help councils to continue developing the in-house skills needed for high quality council homes to be built, as we work toward a fairer and more prosperous London for everyone.”

Developing knowledge sharing, peer support and access to professional expertise was one of the recommendations in a  report by Bloomberg Associates on council-led housebuilding for the Mayor of London.

The expert panel is the next of these recommendations to go live following the launch of the Housing Development Academy, also delivered by Future of London.

Housing support for London borough’s on “financial knife edge”

Councils are struggling to provide their in-house development teams with the resources to build new homes at the rate needed to address London’s housing crisis.

Nicola Mathers, Chief Executive of Future of London, said:

“We know that London local authorities are on a financial knife edge, so Future of London is delighted to be able to offer free support for their vital housebuilding programmes. The expert panel builds on our skills development work with in-house teams to help them tackle the affordable housing crisis in London.”

According to London Councils, nine out of ten boroughs are expected to overspend this year, with the rising costs of temporary accommodation one of the major factors in these budget pressures. Local authorities in England are spending £1.7bn a year on temporary accommodation, according to the Local Government Association.

Meera Bedi, Head of Development (New Build) at Barnet Homes, said:

“Local authorities face mounting challenges to deliver new homes in a volatile market. Budgetary pressures mean tough financial choices must be made. Free access to explore strategic options with practising consultants is timely, innovative, and will help strengthen the capacity of council teams to deliver new housing.”

As local authorities across London have re-established themselves as housebuilders, demand is increasing for support for their in-house teams.

Free housing development support for boroughs in London

The panel provides free and quick access to discuss development challenges with a range of experts who have many years of experience in building new homes.

London borough housing teams can have one-to-one discussions or join round tables with other boroughs on development challenges of council-led delivery. They can explore development options and find out about good practice with experts.

The expert organisations and specialisms included are:

  • BPTW – for architecture and urban design
  • Potter Raper – for construction management
  • Red loft – for development management, sales and marketing, and viability
  • TLT – for legal aspects of planning, development, and construction

Expert panel partners back borough housing development

Danny Sutcliffe, Partner at Red Loft, said:

“We are really excited to be part of the Future of London expert panel. If we are to tackle the housing crisis, it is clear that local authorities have a key role play in delivering more affordable homes and at Red Loft we have been providing expert support to the sector for over 20 years. Great places need brilliant advice.”

Robert Humphrey, Director at Potter Raper, said:

“Potter Raper are thrilled to be on the panel of the Future of London Council-Led Housing Network. As a construction consultancy providing multi-discipline services, we have extensive experience building social housing and are committed to working with local authorities to help meet the capitals housing needs and contribute to a brighter future.”

Neill Campbell, Partner at BPTW, said:

“As architects and urban designers BPTW has been collaborating with London councils for many years to support housing delivery.

“Council housebuilding is vital to meeting the challenges of the housing crisis across many areas from supply to quality, safety, affordability, and sustainability. Building up the capacity and expertise of our council development and planning teams is extremely important to meeting these challenges.”

David Meecham, Partner and Head of Housing and Regeneration at TLT, said:

“TLT is delighted to be the legal expert panel member for Future of London’s new Council-Led Housing Network. We’ll be supporting the legal aspects of planning, development and construction. This is an exciting time to be part of this inspiring initiative, whose ultimate goal is to help speed up the delivery of much needed new homes across the capital.”

The expert panel is open exclusively to London local authorities. Find out more about the offer hereIf you manage a team delivering council-led housing, please register your interest and Future of London will be in touch to discuss next steps.