Housing Business Ready Programme

The HFi has worked with 50 Councils on the HBR Programme and through HBR workshops to prepare them for strategic and delivery change for housing. At the heart of our work is our flagship Housing Business Ready programme. This programme is delivered on a one-to-one basis with councils and involves the council’s political and senior management leadership teams. Each programme is tailored by council to ensure their housing ambition can translate into even stronger housing success.

What Impact does the HBR Programme Have?

The work with our HBR Councils has resulted in many practical actions being adopted to create housing opportunity and speed up housing delivery, including:

Identifying Surplus Land to increase Delivery

  • Finding Sites: Helping a council which had described itself as ‘land locked’ identify additional underutilised land in its area to be re-developed for housing.
  • Taking Control of Slow Public Land Situations: Suggesting approaches to take control with the HCA to free up old ‘RDA’ land and accelerate building it out using innovative financing and purchase methods. This is most effective where the HCA lacks local capacity to prioritise the site to the same extent as local councils.
  • Thinking Strategically and Pro-Actively about the Rationalisation of the Public Estate: Helping a council who is reliant on MoD presence for its growth to think more strategically about whether it can help unlock opportunities arising from the rationalisation of the MoD estate in other areas in order to support the town’s growth.

Building Confidence in Capacity and Skills

  • Governance Structures to support council’s investment decision making: Setting up practical investment governance structures to provide greater confidence in members’ decision making around land related investments. This is to ensure that timely and commercial decisions around housing land and opportunities can be made.
  • Faster set up of a council housing company: Speeding up the establishment of a council’s housing company, working particularly on asset identification, decision making processes, risk management and governance structures.

Forging Relationships to accelerate Delivery

  • Understanding Local Build Out Rates and Drivers: identifying approaches to understanding and collecting information about the build out rates for sites under development or permissioned.
  • Community Engagement: Suggesting approaches and methods, including neighbourhood planning, to better engage the community where the council has had a significantly high level of, ultimately unsuccessful but nonetheless disruptive, community-led court appeals against planned developments.
  • Celebrate Events: Showcasing council and housing business success at our HFi Celebrate events – driving connections and opportunities for those with an appetite to do more.

What does the HBR Programme include?

Each HBR programme includes an external review of a council’s housing strategy and an intensive workshop day with senior officers and political leadership. This includes a HBR Assessment across 18 different metrics and a local market analysis to drive better housing performance as well as tailored focus sessions for each council.

The relationship with our HBR councils continues after the workshop day. This may include regular post-event discussions, co-ordinated media to celebrate housing successes in the area and invitations to HFi events with senior business representatives to share partnership opportunities.

HBR metrics

National ‘Housing Business Ready’ Status 

Councils that successfully complete the Housing Business Ready programme will receive National Housing Business Ready Status. This status recognises the great work that a council has achieved in housing. The status recognises the council’s ability to use their resources to go the extra distance rather than simply meeting minimum requirements. Councils who are working hard towards securing the homes that their communities need.

What our HBR Councils have said?

what our hbr councils have said


Find out more:

If you would like to find out more about our Housing Business Ready programme, please contact natalie@thehfi.com.