Key Priorities from Scottish Government's Housing to 2040 Vision
Following the recent publication of the Housing to 2040 strategy, I thought it would be pertinent to talk about what the key priorities are, the challenges presented to date and how procurement can support our partners in combatting these challenges.
Housing plays a vital role in meeting Scottish Government’s ambitions for Scotland; eradicating child poverty and homelessness, ending fuel poverty, tackling the effects of climate change, and promoting inclusive growth. The vision for housing is for all people in Scotland to live in high quality sustainable homes that they can afford and that meet their needs.
It is a person-centred vision considering people, place, environment, and communities and where our homes, old and new, are located. Regeneration is prioritised and the aim is to ensure our most disadvantaged communities are supported in a sustainable way that promotes wellbeing.
The challenges over the past year have shone a spotlight on how important housing is to everyone. The ‘Stay at Home’ order, to suppress the virus and protect lives, was experienced differently throughout society. The order was much easier to follow and its impact on your daily life was much more manageable if you had access to good quality outdoor greenspace and a reliable internet connection. Scottish Government’s ambition is for everyone to have access to a warm, safe, affordable, and energy-efficient home that meets their needs, in a community they feel part of and proud of.
An additional 100,000 affordable homes are to be delivered by 2032, with at least 70% of these to be for social rent. By supporting the delivery of homes in town centres and at the heart of communities with access to close by facilities and amenities, Scottish Government want to enhance and strengthen communities throughout Scotland. More details on the Housing to 2040 vision and strategy can be found here.
There are various challenges that have and continue to hinder the housing sector in delivering these targets such as the Coronavirus pandemic, which meant that the March 2021 targets of 50,000 homes could not be met. COVID-19 has shown us we must always remain agile so we can respond to new challenges and new priorities.
At SPA we continued to support our partners throughout the pandemic, working remotely ensuring the safety of our personnel. We noticed an increase in the requirement to support our partners due to remote working and the whole team have worked together to meet this need. This has led us to bring forward our recruitment plans to ensure we can continue to deliver our added value services to all our Partners.
As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, housing will be important for economic growth. By investing in high quality, energy efficient and zero emissions housing, the construction sector will see growth and an increase in job opportunities over the lifespan of the housing strategy.
Procurement can support the delivery of the Housing to 2040 strategy by helping to alleviate some of the challenges we are facing as a sector. SPA work to promote best practice procurement and assist in guiding contracting authorities in the compliant routes to market to support the delivery of the Housing to 2040 Vision.
Procurement provides options for contracting authorities to consider in their options appraisals. It supports the achievement of the targets whilst ensuring best value for money is achieved for all public monies spent.
You can be assured that we procure all our solutions with the Sustainable Procurement Duty in mind, ensuring we are supporting local economies by targeting the right contractor, right size, and right location. All opportunities are required to be developed in a manner that encourages all levels of businesses to apply from SMEs and local supply chain to national organisations. We support this by ensuring that all our tendering opportunities are appropriately lotted by region, value bands, and disciplines where appropriate. Further, we have developed a dynamic purchasing system to encourage localised supply chains and to support SMEs with a quicker, easier, and less onerous method to access public sector opportunities, particularly with lower value contracts.
To support the new build requirements, SPA have several framework options available providing a quick and easy route to market for development projects. By procuring through SPA you can save a substantial amount of time and expertise as the hard work of the procurement process has already been undertaken. We provide flexible call off options through our Offsite New Homes (NH2) and Housing Construction (H1) frameworks providing a compliant route to market. We are delighted to say that over 10% of the initial 35,000 affordable homes target has been delivered via these frameworks to date.
If you would like further information on anything provided here please do not hesitate to contact me.
Head of SPA Procurement