ADD2112 GLA Housing Forum Membership 2017-18

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2112
Date signed: 
08 May 2017
Decision by: 
Jamie Ratcliff, Assistant Director, Policy, Programme and Services

Executive summary

The Housing Forum is an independent membership network of organisations and businesses which collaborate to develop and improve the nation's housing stock. It is the only cross-sector, industry-wide membership network representing the entire housing supply chain.  It has over 150 members from both the public and private sector, including developers and stock holding organisations, professional services, manufacturers, local authorities and local enterprise partnerships. The GLA’s own membership expired on 31 March 2017 and the cost of renewing for 2017-18 is £10,950.00 plus VAT. This decision form sets out the benefits of the network to the GLA and seeks approval of expenditure of £10,950.00 to renew the GLA’s membership to 31 March 2018.  

 

Decision

That the Assistant Director for Housing approves:

•    Expenditure of £10,950 to extend the GLA’s membership of the Housing Forum until 31 March 2018. 
 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The Housing Forum is an independent cross-sector membership network for businesses, local authorities and non-profit organisations in the housing sector. The aim of the Forum is to promote collaboration and to encourage improvements across all levels of the housing sector to build and maintain better homes for the future. This is done through informative and influencing networking activities which include working groups on various topics and CEO and local forums where delegates share experience taking new approaches to housing delivery. 

1.2    The Housing Forum itself is non-political and does not lobby on behalf of any sectorial interest. The views and outputs delivered by the network on behalf of its members are the views of the Housing Forum and not attributed (unless expressly agreed) to any individual organisation. The network currently has 150 members including house building and stock holding organisations, professional services, manufacturers, local authorities and local enterprise partnerships. It is the only network with membership representing all levels of the housing delivery chain, including both private and public sector organisations, and currently includes a number of organisations that are delivering housing under one or more GLA programme. 

1.3    The GLA joined the Housing Forum per ADD386 on 4 February 2016 at a cost of £10,500. Under its membership package, the GLA can share all its membership benefits with any of the 33 local authorities in London who wish to participate. This membership, however, expires on 31 March 2017. Were this to lapse, the GLA along with the local authorities participating through is package, would lose access to the working groups and network forums.

1.4    This decision seeks approval to renew the GLA’s membership package until 31 March 2018 for a cost of £10,950 + VAT. The benefits package will remain the same, including full access for the local authorities in London who wish to participate.

1.5    The Assistant Director – Housing is a member of the Housing Forum Board, this group guides the policy and practice of the organisation and allows the GLA to influence the direction of ongoing research and events. The GLA has no involvement in the management board of the Housing Forum, which makes operational and financial decisions for it.  
 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.2    The expected outcomes and benefits of renewing membership in the Forum are set out below:

Working Group Representation

The Housing Forum’s Working Groups produce influential reports for its members which are recognised at the highest levels of Government and throughout the industry. The Forum currently has three working groups – (1) Building Homes – Building Better, (2) New Solutions to Housing Supply and (3) Making the Best of Existing Homes. Membership in the Forum will give GLA and London local authority officers full access to these working groups to share and learn from good practice and innovative thinking.

CEO Forums

The Housing Forum builds influence in the sector by bringing leaders together for regular examination of major topics that connect directly to the working groups. GLA membership will give senior officers at the GLA and local authorities access to these events.

Development Partnership Forums

Membership includes access to Development Partnership Forums which bring government and industry together to share best practice and support new entrants into housing development.

Full London Representation

The membership packaged offered to the GLA means all 33 local authorities will also be able to participate in the network if they choose for no additional change.

Networking with providers

There are a number of GLA stakeholders who are already members of the network. GLA membership will provide increased opportunities for networking and collaborating with these organisations.

 

 

Equality comments

3.1    The public sector equality duty requires the identification and evaluation of the likely potential impacts, both positive and negative, of the decision on those with protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, gender, religion or belief, sexual orientation) and set out how you are addressing the duties). This decision is not likely to have any impact on individuals with protected characteristics; however, the work of the Housing Forum in general could lead to a better sharing of best practice and approaches to housing delivery which in turn could improve both access and quality of housing to those with protected characteristics. 

 

Other considerations

4.1    There is no legal commitment associated with GLA membership; however, there is an expectation that the work of the Forum will be supported through involvement and contributions from appropriate senior level officers within the Housing & Land directorate. GLA involvement, however, will have a positive impact in creating additional forums in which GLA initiatives and priorities can be discussed and where the sharing of best approaches can be disseminated. 

4.2    The work of the Housing Forum also directly supports the Mayor’s aims to increase the number of genuinely affordable new homes delivered across London each year.  

4.3    Consideration was given to whether a portion of the fee should be passed on to the 33 local authorities who will have access to the Forum through the GLA’s membership package. However, the administrative costs of advertising, invoicing and collecting the fees together with the lost benefit of the GLA being able to lead on and define the relationship for London outweighs this benefit. 

4.4    No impact assessments or consultations were carried out in relation to this decision.  
 

Financial comments

5.1    This decision requests approval to spend £10,950 for GLA membership in the Housing Forum until 31 March 2018. This expenditure will be funded from Management and Consultancy budget within Housing & Land department and will incur in 2017/18 financial year.

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

2017-18 Membership Begins

1 April 2017

2017-18 Membership Expires

31 March 2018