Are you unsure about who CPC are? Let us explain…

CPC is a partnership between LHC & NHC designed to offer each organisation’s current and potential new members an unrivalled range of procurement solutions. Through CPC, Northern Housing Consortium’s clients will be able to access LHC’s suite of frameworks.

…still confused?

We created a short animation to explain who CPC are along with our 2 new frameworks – Energy Efficiency Measures & Associated Works (N8) + Energy Efficiency Consultancy (N8C).


We hosted a webinar on the 24th of November and it was a huge success! Tony Maw (Technical Support Manager of CPC) went over key details about both these frameworks and how you can get onto the framework. One of our appointed companies for N8C – RYBKA sponsored the webinar which gave the attendees a different dynamic of what to expect from the frameworks. Jeremy from RYBKA went over key details about the partnership they have with John Gilbert Architects & PMP. Jeremy also went over some key case studies which show the importance of energy efficiency.

Want to find our more about the frameworks? Click here > https://www.cpconstruction.org.uk/frameworks/energy-efficiency/energy-efficiency-measures-associated-works-n8/

LHC and NHC both have a passion to improve homes and communities through excellent collaborative procurement to deliver benefits to all our clients. So NHC members now have free access to the eighth edition of LHCs Energy Efficiency frameworks. These solutions are packed with innovative new technology, representing 30 years’ experience of procuring retrofit solutions for publicly-owned housing to improve their energy performance.


To get in touch with us:

Email: adil.kotia@cpconstruction.org.uk

Phone: 07534421406

LinkedIn: Consortium Procurement Construction

Twitter: CPC_Procure

New CBL enhancement makes form filling easier for social housing applicants

Kent Homechoice went live on December 1, 2020, with a new enhancement from Locata to its Choice Based Lettings system that allows the pre-population of its Change of Circumstances (ChoC) form.

This gives Kent’s existing social housing applicants a change of circumstances form with details of their application already filled in for them to change or add to. This will make the completed ChoC form more accurate, easier to complete and faster to verify.

Several Locata partners are now considering how they wish to configure this new enhancement so that the pre-populated form works in the best way for them. However, this is the way Kent configured it.

Customers begin the form with a straightforward “yes” or “no” question about their current address.


If the applicant indicates that the address has changed by clicking “Yes”, the ChoC form will “clear out” and the customer will have to complete a new form.

If the applicant clicks “No”, indicating that the address is still their current residence, the form will be populated with all the details they have previously provided.

The customer will then work through the form, making any changes to details that have changed. If there are no changes on any page, they simply hit “continue” to carry on through the ChoC form.

Kent have configured the form so that there is one other point at which the remainder of the form can be “cleared out” and the customer will have to fill out everything that follows.

This is where the applicant is asked about the number of members in the household. If that is the same as before, the rest of the form is pre-populated. If there is a change, then the customer must fill in the remainder of the form from scratch.



We have also configured the form to ensure that applicants have to re-authorise the declaration and fraud statements at the submission of the completed form.

Once submitted, the changes must be verified by a housing officer before the application is set to “live” on the housing register.

However, this is a very simple process in the back office. The officer will clearly see all the changes, with the previous details highlighted in red and scored through alongside the new details highlighted in green.

This is how it would look for changes to the contact details.



And this is how it would look for details of an additional household member.



If you would like to know more about Locata’s wide range of cloud-based housing options and homelessness products and services, please email us on info@locata.org.uk

Eleven Locata services on latest G-Cloud 12 framework

Locata has once again been successful in applying to join the latest G-Cloud 12 framework.

This means that we continue to be an official Crown Commercial Service supplier and our products and services can be bought by local authorities through the Digital Marketplace without needing to go through a full tender process – helping save time and money.

We now have 11 different Locata cloud-based systems on the Digital Marketplace, including the new HPA2 Rent Accounting Module.

You can see all our details on G-Cloud 12 by following this link <link to https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/g-cloud/search?q=Locata&lot=cloud-software>

The new G-Cloud framework services became available on the Digital Marketplace in September 2020 offering the very latest cloud technology and digital support to organisations across the public sector.

New versions of the G-Cloud framework are launched every six to nine months in order to refresh services and open the market up to new suppliers.

No Home Left Behind: An Inquiry into Property Standards in the North’s Private Rented Sector

To read the full report, click here.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Housing in the North, the cross-party group that meets to discuss and advance northern-focussed housing policy in Parliament, came together this week to formally approved the final report of the APPG’s Inquiry into Property Standards in the North’s Private Rented Sector.

Researched and written on behalf of the group by the Northern Housing Consortium, the report – No Home Left Behind – represents 18 months of working in close collaboration with Local Authorities, Housing Associations, Combined Authorities, those representing both tenants and landlords, and third sector organisations.

No Home Left Behind concludes:

  • The Private Rented Sector regulatory framework is a comprehensive but complicated mixture of statute and case law that hinders enforcement and allows poor conditions to flourish.
  • The ability to identify landlords and poorly conditioned properties are essential to professionalising the sector and should be made central to efforts to reach minimum energy efficiency standards.
  • Local Authorities are held back in their ability to effectively use enforcement tools by severe budget constraints. Local enforcement teams should be maintained by properly resourced services with the right level of professionally qualified staff.
  • A long-term commitment to regeneration through a Housing Quality Investment Fund would support local collaborative partnership working to drive wider improvements in housing quality across tenures and bring a new focus to raising the standards of the North’s existing stock.

A range of recommendations are made to Government, covering:

  • The Regulatory Framework, including a review of current legislation, a national landlord database, and exploring the opportunities to link rental subsidy to property condition.
  • Tenant Empowerment, including the immediate introduction of the Renters Reform Bill and abolition of Section 21, and support for the growth of Social/Ethical Lettings Agencies.
  • Enforcing Standards, including increased and sustained funding for Local Authorities and greater local control over Selective Licensing.
  • Opportunities for the Future Role of the private rented sector, including the transformation of ECO funding to create a local authority led area-based scheme to tackle fuel poverty and the formation of a Housing Quality Investment Fund to level-up housing quality in the North and work towards a green recovery.

Ian Mearns MP, Chair of the APPG Housing in the North, commented:

“With the Inquiry we hoped to gain an understanding of the reasons for continued poor standards in parts of the Private Rented Sector in the North.

“Whilst many PRS tenants live in good quality accommodation, many others do not. And the APPG hopes it has developed a set of practical proposals to ensure the sector is a positive choice and experience for all households.

“We are grateful to all the organisations and individuals who contributed to this timely and important work”

Tracy Harrison, Chief Executive of the Northern Housing Consortium, commented:

“Housing stock in the North is often older, colder, and inefficient to heat. These types of properties form significant parts of the private rented sector and result in very poor conditions for tenants.

“At the same time, diminished resources in local authority enforcement teams, a complex regulatory environment and reluctance from renters to exercise their consumer powers, means Local Authorities are really facing an uphill struggle to try and stay ahead of the worst landlords.

“As Secretariat, the Northern Housing Consortium was delighted to work with, and on behalf of, the APPG for Housing in the North on this final report and suite of recommendations. Thanks must also go to Northern Housing Consortium members whose sizeable evidence and testimonies underpin the strength of this body of work”

To read the full report, click here.

The APPG Housing in the North provides a forum for Parliamentarians to discuss and advance housing and related policy across the three northern regions and seeks to ensure the needs and ambitions of northern communities are addressed in national housing policy development.

As Secretariat, the Northern Housing Consortium supports the APPG in facilitating a work programme that has in recent years concentrated on the regeneration of mixed tenure communities, housing an ageing population, and the impact of poor-quality housing on health and wellbeing.

To receive all the latest information on APPG activities, including future meetings, please visit:












Energy Angels Sponsor Blog – Restoring power in your empty homes

This year has been challenging for all of us, we’ve had to adapt in many different ways and adopt new processes to regain some normality. Some organisations have adapted quicker than others and will come out of this stronger, while others have closed shop and those experiences will leave a bad taste that will remain for a long time.

One of the biggest challenges has been contacting energy suppliers. Some call centres were completely closed, or call wait times were far beyond any reasonable time. Companies are now pushing online chat but that’s not ideal when you’re sat in a property with only a mobile phone.

This doesn’t help a voids/repairs departments when a property has just become vacant and requires action to get the power restored, so urgent work can be carried out by the repairs team.

Since 2006, we have approached the management of Energy for Social Housing from the landlord’s point of view, rather than the energy supplier’s. During the pandemic we maintained service levels for our clients without furloughing any colleagues, in fact due to the increasing amount of Social Landlords coming over to our free service, we’re delighted to have created new jobs during the pandemic and will continue to do so as Social Landlords continue to choose Energy Angels over other outdated services which have creaked and failed during lockdown.

Our service is underpinned by our 4 hour SLA, meaning any supply issues raised with us via our online portal are dealt with quickly and efficiently so that you can undertake any work and re-let the property without delay, reducing void periods.

You will also benefit from free energy credit from our choice of energy suppliers to cover the costs of keeping the power on when the property is empty. They will also install a smart meter at the same time, which will help improve efficiency in the property and minimise future issues.

We also appreciate the need to make sure your tenants are moving into their new homes on the cheapest possible rates, reducing the risk of anyone falling into financial hardship. With this in mind we can also create your own co-branded price comparison landing page to give your tenants when they move in to their property, giving them whole of market choice to find a cheaper tariff, reducing fuel poverty.

We’re delighted that so many Social Landlords trust us to manage their energy supplies, so they can concentrate helping their tenants and we’re always keen to help new landlords explore better ways of energy management for their empty and tenanted homes.


PRS to face ambitious energy targets?

A new Government consultation has set out an ambitious proposed trajectory for energy efficiency in the private rented sector.

The new consultation, from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), makes range of proposals, including that homes let in the private rented sector from 2025 should have to meet an energy efficiency rating of EPC C; with all homes in the private rented sector to reach this standard by 2028.

Other key policy proposals include:

  • Increasing the maximum investment amount, resulting in an average per-property spend of £4,700 under a £10,000 cap
  • Introducing a ‘fabric first’ approach to energy performance improvements

The NHC will be responding to the consultation, and is seeking member views. An online discussion has been arranged for 13.30 – 15.00 next Thursday, 5th November. NHC members can register to attend, free of charge, using MyNHC.

This member meeting follows a BEIS Local Authority Workshop today which the NHC assisted in coordinating northern attendees from its membership. At the workshop representatives from the Domestic Private Rented Sector Energy Efficiency team gave an overview of the above proposals, with specific focus given to suggestions covering compliance and enforcement policy. This included:

  • Introducing a new property compliance and exemptions database, new requirements regarding the provision of EPCs
  • Placing a requirement on letting agents and online property platforms
  • Strengthening local authority powers
  • Increasing the maximum fine level to £30,000
  • Strengthening tenant powers

NHC staff attended the workshop and will feedback at next week’s member consultation, before developing a response with attendees on behalf of the North.

Commenting, NHC Executive Director for Policy and Public Affairs Brian Robson said, “These are ambitious targets. We know the North’s PRS has high levels of non-decency and fuel poverty, so Government’s attention to this issue is welcome. However, we know that existing minimum targets have proven difficult to enforce – so it’s important Government get this right. I’d encourage members to contribute to our response.”

Members who cannot make the consultation event are invited to share their thoughts with NHC Senior Policy Advisor Karen Brown at Karen.brown@northern-consortium.org.uk by 27th November.

Connecting our members – Kate Maughan, Director of Member Engagement, NHC

As the NHC’s Director of Member Engagement, I’ve been reflecting on the extraordinary year we’ve had so far. So much has changed since March and the sector has responded swiftly and with impact.

Here at the NHC, we’ve made big changes too. We rapidly moved from traditional, face to face events into a full digital service, and we’ve really embraced the positives of this – our members are at the heart of everything we say and do, and we’ve strengthened our already high levels of engagement and brought you even more opportunities to connect with others on the issues that matter to you (a 151% increase on last year’s events, if you’re a numbers person!) And we did this quickly – within a week of lockdown, we moved our MMC conference online with a keynote speech from Christopher Pincher MP, secured webinars with the Regulator of Social Housing and the Housing Ombudsman, and hosted online roundtables to help housing management teams work through their immediate challenges. Our priority was, and it remains, supporting you and connecting our members at all levels.

The NHC team has worked incredibly hard to respond to the many emerging issues over the last 7 months and we’ve got a full programme of conferences, roundtables and networks to look forward to over the coming months.

And we’re still focusing on the many other issues that matter. The #OurNorth Net Zero campaign – through which we’re helping members to work through the challenges of decarbonising their housing stock – continues at pace, and we’re making sure the Northern housing voice is heard by those we seek to influence.

At our events and member meetings, we track key words and phrases so we can spot trends, challenges and opportunities to support you and, crucially, respond quickly. As you’d expect, in March and April those keywords focused on:

Move ahead to the Autumn, and our members’ focus has clearly evolved:

Although there is still uncertainty ahead, there’s also a clear future-focus emerging. Over the summer we launched our Future of Work programme which helps us to broaden our offer so we can engage right across executive management teams, and we’ve begun to examine some of what I think are the key questions for our sector:

  • How do we preserve our organisational culture when we’re all working remotely, and how do we immerse new staff in that culture?
  • How can we embrace the digital agenda so we can work more effectively and deliver better services to our customers?
  • How do we support our diverse staff teams through huge operational change?

We have formed the NHC:GEM Partnership to explore the future of work in the housing sector by engaging the talents of upcoming housing professionals from the GEM Programme. GEMs are recent graduates and graduate equivalent staff in the early stages of their careers in the housing sector, which we think makes this research unique: the future of work in the sector will be seen through the eyes of the next generation of leaders and people of influence.

The research is being steered by a group of NHC members. We’ll let you know when the phase 1 findings are ready to share: if you’d like to get involved in steering the research, please do let me know.

As ever, we want our engagement programme to continue to reflect your needs – so please let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see. We’re really looking forward to working with you in the coming months.


Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator

On 8 July 2020, the Chancellor’s Summer Economic Update announced the UK-wide Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator (SHDF Demonstrator) to support the decarbonisation of social housing over 2020/21, and to boost green jobs as part of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

This £50 million programme will support social landlords to demonstrate innovative approaches to retrofitting social housing at scale. The SHDF Demonstrator upscales the Whole House Retrofit (WHR) Innovation Competition.

The SHDF Demonstrator project is an initial investment to learn lessons and catalyse innovation in retrofitting for the £3.8 billion Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, allocations for which will be determined at the forthcoming Spending Review.

Applications for the SHDF demonstrator will need to be from:

  • Local Authorities (LAs), including combined authorities, or
  • Consortia led by LAs for work on their retained Social Housing stock and/or Housing Association or Arm’s Length Management Organisations (ALMO) stock within their area.

This eligibility is only applicable to the SHDF demonstrator programme. The future Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (allocations for which will be announced at Spending Review in the Autumn) is intended to be open to all social housing landlords to directly access funding.

The Department of Business, Enterprise & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched the webpage for the SHDF Demonstrator which sets out indicative timelines for the administration of the scheme. BEIS will update the webpage in due course as more details become available.


BEIS confirm that the competition will be formally launched in October 2020 with a relatively short deadline for bids in November 2020 (final dates to be confirmed).

  • Competition launch – October 2020
  • Deadline for bids – November 2020
  • Grant awards – December 2020

On 30 September, BEIS opened the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme for applications to access funding towards the cost of installing energy-efficient improvements. Full details of the scheme and eligibility is here.  Improvement measures must be completed by 31 March 2021.



NHC calls for chancellor to ‘rebuild, level-up and invest in people and places’

With plans for an Autumn Budget cancelled, the future of the multi-year Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) due this Autumn is uncertain.  Nevertheless, the NHC has used its CSR Representation to call on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to work with the North’s housing sector to deliver on his aims to rebuild, level-up and invest in people and places.

Setting out how housing in the North can help the Government deliver on its aims, the representation focuses on:

  • Rebuild: securing economic recovery and contributing to levelling-up by readying the North’s social housing for net zero. The NHC calls for the Chancellor to confirm and immediately release the pledge £3.8bn social housing decarbonisation fund, bringing forward investment planned for later in the decade.
  • Level-up: rebuilding capacity in local government in the North, to drive improvements in housing supply and quality. The NHC recommends the Chancellor announce a sustained real-terms increase in local government funding and a national centre of specialist housing and planning expertise, located in the North.
  • Invest in people in places: making a visible difference by investing in new affordable homes, and infrastructure to support new homes of all tenures. The NHC calls for a further round of the Brownfield Land Fund, an end to arbitrary 80/20 restrictions on housing infrastructure funds, and expansion of the affordable homes programme towards the sector consensus on funding, ensuring the fund is open to every part of the country and offers tenure flexibility.

 Commenting, NHC Chief Executive Tracy Harrison said, “The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has not yet been fully realised, but we know that it will not be experienced equally across every part of the country.  Housing has a track record of delivering effective economic stimulus. Investing in housing growth and quality in the North will contribute to economic recovery, provide visible evidence of levelling-up and prepare the region for net zero.”

The Treasury has not announced a firm schedule for future fiscal events.  The Chancellor has confirmed that delayed National Infrastructure Strategy will go ahead this Autumn; and we understand that there may be other spending announcements, potentially including a scaled-back one year spending round, in due course. Whenever the announcements come, NHC team will produce our usual on-the-day briefing to help members digest the key decisions and understand their implications for housing in the North.

‘No place left behind’ Commission – call for evidence

 The Create Streets Foundation has launched ‘No place left behind’, a Commission into prosperity and community placemaking. This is chaired by Toby Lloyd, the former Head of Policy at Shelter and Housing Advisor to the Prime Minister. Over the next year the Commission intends to come up with new ideas to help “level-up” England as part of the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, with a focus on approaches which allow communities to define and drive “levelling-up” for themselves.

The Commission has launched a call for evidence which closes on Monday 2nd November. The NHC will be responding, but members can also submit evidence using an online questionnaire, by leaving a 3 minute voicemail, emailing evidence, or taking part in a short telephone interview.

Karbon Homes Chief Executive, and NHC Board Member, Paul Fiddaman is one of the Commissioners. He comments:

 “We want to know about past and current projects to improve life in England’s neighbourhoods – what has worked well, what hasn’t, and what future projects and programmes need to do to succeed in getting a fairer and better deal for so-called left behind places. I do hope you’ll be able to share your experiences with us and share the Call for Evidence with others who might be interested. We’ll only get the right answers by speaking to the right people.”