Homes England has updated its strategic partnership model and is opening it up to a wider range or partners.
Strategic partnerships are an exciting approach to help increase the delivery of affordable housing. Instead of applying for funding on a scheme-by-scheme basis, strategic partners enter into a multi-year grant agreement with Homes England to deliver affordable housing. This then allows partners to benefit from the certainty of the grant for the duration of the partnership, as well as gaining access to Homes England’s wider expertise, insight, and influence.
Since launching the first strategic partnerships in 2018, 23 partnerships have been signed with 27 housing associations, delivering around £1.8 billion grant investments and more than 40,000 additional affordable homes.
Strategic partnerships play a pivotal role in Homes England’s mission to use everything at its disposal to intervene in the market to make homes happen.
Homes England is looking for ambitious, successful organisation which share its aims and values to become strategic partners.
Who can be a strategic partner?
For 2021, Homes England is offering our strategic partnerships to a broader range of organisations than ever before, including not for profit registered providers, for-profit providers and developers, and local authorities.
Homes England is utilising its expertise and influence to support its strategic partners as much as possible, but in return asks that partners can demonstrate a significant commitment to Homes England’s broader aims, from increasing the use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) to promoting great design.
The benefits of becoming a strategic partner
The certainty and flexibility of grant funding is just one element of a strategic partnership – it is the collaborative, working relationship with Homes England that really sets it apart.
Its first cohort of strategic partners said that working with Homes England in this way has allowed them to do things that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible – for example:
- unlocking difficult sites for development
- attracting finance and investment
- accelerating delivery of much needed homes.
Strategic partners will benefit from a broad range of support from across Homes England. That means providing advice for accessing other funding from Homes England, brokering relationships across the sector, co-developing delivery plans and so much more.
Strategic partners will also have access to technical expertise in delivery, land, infrastructure and investment to address local capacity and capability challenges.
To ensure that strategic partners get as much out of the relationship as possible, each of the partners will have a dedicated Key Account Manager (KAM), a senior colleague from Homes England who will act as a conduit to the rest of the agency’s resources.
How to become a strategic partner
Homes England expects to launch a competitive bidding round for proposals to access Affordable Homes grant funding through the strategic partnership route in March 2021. It anticipates that the window for submitting proposals will be around 6 weeks, although this may be subject to change.
Timescales will be published in due course.
You can read the guidance for updated timescales and to understand more about how to apply for affordable housing grant funding in a strategic partnership.
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