Affordable housing conference to explore how public procurement can power local economic wellbeing for communities
Representatives from Scottish local authorities and housing associations are joining construction contractors at a conference tomorrow to discuss key topics relating to affordable housing following the launch of Scotland Excel’s £1.5 billion New Build Residential Construction framework last month.
The framework is the culmination of many months of development in consultation with 11 funding local authorities and the construction industry, and supports a drive to harness public procurement to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits for local areas.
Cabinet secretary for finance, economy and fair work, Derek Mackay MSP, will give a keynote address at the conference, reinforcing the Scottish Government’s commitment to using public procurement as a significant lever for economic wellbeing.
Mr Mackay said: “Affordable housing is critical to the Scottish Government’s ambitions to create a fair and equal society and has the power to help create communities that are empowered, resilient and safe.
“Like good housing, public procurement is an enabler for much that this Government is trying to do. With over £11bn spent on goods and services across the public sector in 2017/18, public procurement is making a significant contribution to Scotland’s economy and – when done properly - can help to foster jobs and growth, encourage innovation, and play a key role in helping small businesses to compete for contracts.”
The New Build framework is designed to significantly reduce the time it takes social landlords to engage a contractor to build new homes, thus helping to accelerate the delivery of much-needed social housing. It supports the Scottish Government’s £3bn Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) which is on target to deliver 50,000 affordable homes by 2021.
Additionally, the framework has taken a comprehensive approach to delivering social value, with all 19 suppliers to the framework signing up to a range of criteria including creating employment and training opportunities; paying the real Living Wage and engaging with supported businesses and social enterprises where the value of works exceeds £1 million.
Scotland Excel’s ‘Accelerating the Delivery of Affordable New Homes’ conference in Edinburgh has attracted a roster of other influential speakers including:
- Sally Thomas, chief executive, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, who will be looking at the impact of affordable housing on people and communities.
- Stephen Good, chief executive, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre who will highlight some of the cutting-edge innovation across the sector including offsite construction and the use of robots.
Both speakers are passionate in their commitment to addressing a current shortfall in affordable housing. According to Sally Thomas, “there are 160,000 people on waiting lists for social housing, the demand is still there and likely to increase”, with Stephen Good adding, “We can’t continue to do what we already do. We need bold, daring, exciting, radical solutions”.
The New Build Residential Construction framework focuses on the construction of affordable flats, houses and bungalows, but also allows for the delivery of other residential properties such as sheltered housing, student accommodation and mixed tenure properties.
For more information on Scotland Excel’s New Build framework, visit www.scotland-excel.org.uk.