Successful UK social housing bid.|
The social housing developer wanting to develop subsidised rent 'affordable housing' will generally need to successfully bid for grants from funders. Often there will be stiff competition for funds, so that being successful may require using more knowledge and skill than you currently have - and developers need updated bidding strategies appropriate to today's competitive and ever-changing bidding situations as in England with funding heading for less LAs and less developers, with LASHG out and ALMOs, GROs and RHGs in. (Now local authorities are concerned that they need bidding training - maybe on ALMO and ex-LASHG bidder plans to begin bidding for housing grants ?)
Having worked extensively at all levels in this area in England, including auditing bidding decision, my unmatched training/advice sessions on successful bidding are offered to any interested in England, see Appraisal. Funders often being overworked, especially at certain times of the year, you will need to ensure that your bidding strategy does not over-pressure their resources. Hence, careful timing of one or two brief but winning letters or e-mails can really help.
While bidding on the regular programmes of the main UK social housing development funders is likely to be the more difficult, there will also be many alternative funders (often specialist) and the main funders may also run new initiative programmes that can be easier to successfully bid on. So check housing headlines daily on the internet, check that your system is not blocking informative housing e-mails and get visible by putting monthly notes on a housing discussion group or forum with your association's name (few may contribute, but many will read - from a range of organisations).
Your bids will generally need the backing of other key players, such as the local authorities that you wish to develop in. All funders and backers like evidence that you can deliver, such as a track record with them and/or with the other key players. And subsidy providers and others involved may want to feel satisfied that a proposed new development project is sustainable as well as financially viable and good value for their grant money.
The 2008-2011 Homes and Communities Agency (formerly Housing Corporation) bidding round include approved private developers. We strongly advise any private developer considering bidding for grant direct to get your foot in the door at the first opportunity. It is likely to be much harder later if you do not. You may need somebody trained to use the Homes and Communities Agency's IMS bidding system. See Do For You.
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