ADD349 Consultants for extended Right to Buy

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD349
Date signed: 
22 September 2015
Decision by: 
Jamie Ratcliff, Assistant Director of Policy, Programme and Services

Executive summary

The Government is working on plans to extend Right to Buy to housing association tenants, paid for by the sale of high value council homes. Working with the housing sector, GLA officers are considering the implications of this significant policy change in London. This decision authorises expenditure to commission specialist consultants to support this work.

 

Decision

The Assistant Director approves expenditure of up to £30,000 to procure and commission consultants through a competitive process to support the GLA’s work to consider the implications of, and respond to, the Government’s proposals to extend Right to Buy in London.

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GLA wishes to commission consultants to support ongoing work to assess the implications of government housing policy in two key areas: the extension of Right to Buy to housing association tenants, and the forced sale by stock-owning local authorities of high value council homes. Both policies will have significant impacts in London, and the GLA is working with government, boroughs and housing associations to properly understand this.

1.2    Specialist consultancy support is required to undertake independent and detailed modelling of these impacts and to test various scenarios for how the policies could play out in London. This work will need to take into account wider changes in housing policy, including changes to the social housing rent-setting regime, and it will need to consider how the Mayor’s housing investment programmes will be affected. 

 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The objectives and expected outcomes of this decision are outlined in section 1 and, in more detail, in the consultants’ brief (appendix 1). The main output will consist of a detailed report of the consultants’ work, currently scheduled to be completed at the end of August 2015.

 

 

Equality comments

3.1    The aim of the work is to enhance the GLA’s understanding of important changes to national housing policy and how these will affect housing outcomes in London. The Integrated Impact Assessment of the London Housing Strategy states that delivering new housing, including affordable housing, is likely to have broadly positive benefits in relation to social and economic sustainability objectives such as improving health, reducing inequalities, increasing accessibility, and economic development. 

 

Other considerations

a)    Key risks

4.1    The key risk associated with this piece of work is the very short timescales involved. The consultants will be required to dedicate considerable resources to the project with very short notice. This has been clearly highlighted in the consultants’ brief and will be taken into account during assessment of submissions. 

b)    Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

4.2    The statutory London Housing Strategy contains a wide range of ambitious objectives and priorities. These include an ambition to more than double housing supply in the capital, to deliver 42,000 affordable homes between 2015 and 2018, and to address a range of housing needs including homelessness and overcrowding. Government’s proposals will have an impact on the achievement of these priorities and therefore it is incumbent on the GLA to assess these impacts and to develop strategies to mitigate them. 

c) impact assessments and consultations

4.3    The statutory London Housing Strategy was subject to two rounds of consultation and a full and independent Integrated Impact Assessment was undertaken.

 

Financial comments

5.1    This expenditure will be funded from Housing & Land’s consultancy budget, which is overcommitted. Further budget is to be allocated via Mayoral Decision to fund the additional expenditure.

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Distribution of brief to consultants

Late July

Appointment of consultants

Late July/early August

Delivery start date

Early August

Completion of report

Late August

 

Appendices and supporting papers

Appendix 1 – Consultants’ brief (attached to signed decision form)