JV North convenes working group to shape new development framework

The social housing consortium JV North is working with contractors and consultants to draw up its new development framework model.

The consortium, which counts numerous housing associations and Manchester City Council as members, will see its current £180 million five-year framework come to an end next year.

JV North is now holding workshop sessions with contractors, architects, land agents and housebuilders to shape how the new model will work.

The working group is discussing whether to continue the current framework structure of having separate lists for contractors and consultants asked to tender, with one branch for works under £1 million and another for projects over £1 million.

The collaboration will also explore the lots to be offered and whether the new framework requires greater flexibility, such as mini-tenders, an option to add others to the lists, and a broader scope of professional services.

Wayne Gales, chair of JV North and chief executive of Weaver Vale Housing Trust, said: “As a consortium we will be making an ambitious bid to Homes England for grant funding in the £12 billion five-year affordable homes programme starting next year.

“There is huge demand for high-quality affordable housing across our communities and JV North members are determined to play a leading role addressing this national crisis.

“How our framework is structured will be crucial in helping us build more homes faster, more efficiently and greener than ever before.”

JV North says that by collaborating in the planning stage, it believes it can create a procurement route that will benefit all parties and will help increase the supply of new homes.

The consortium is also asking contractors and consultants what it can offer and do differently to create stronger working partnerships in the new framework.

The move comes in light of COVID-19 whose effects on the construction industry have had a knock-on impact on housebuilding.

“The pandemic has changed the housebuilding landscape,” Gales added. “Housing associations need to share contractors’ and consultants’ risks because they are key pieces of the homebuilding jigsaw.

“By supporting the financial sustainability of our partners we are backing recently announced government interventions in terms of employment generation, preventing redundancies and creating opportunities for the skilled workforce needed across all supply chain and client teams in the future.

“We also want to take a new and more sustainable approach to social value, working side-by-side with all our stakeholders.”

JV North members are building over 4,550 homes in the current 2016/21 Shared Ownership Affordable Homes Programme, with its members investing nearly half a billion pounds supported by £150 million of Homes England grant funding.

By  the end of the current programme, the consortium will have built 8,500 homes and invested almost £1 billion since it formed a decade ago.

Image: JV North chair Wayne Gales with Sean Stafford, managing director of Saffer Cooper Consultancy who is managing the framework. Credit: JV North

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