The £20million chase between Architects and L&Q Design Framework

Social housing is something that has been made a top priority in recent years. 145,000 social homes need to be built every year over the decade from 2021 in order to meet the government’s target of building 300,000 homes per year in any realistic way. So, there has never been more of a focus on social housing and what needs to change in order to make the right volume of construction happen. Now, a £20 million design framework for social housing, launched by housing association L&Q, is open to architects chasing to win work on this type of project.

Working with L&Q?

L&Q is one of the biggest providers of affordable housing in the UK. It was established in 1963 with a mission to help solve the homelessness problem and has grown into a nationwide, multi-billion pound organisation with 115,000 social housing properties across the country. In London and the southeast the properties owned by L&Q number at least 95,000. L&Q is a member of the G15 Group, which is one of London’s largest housing associations.

What is the L&Q Design Framework?

It is a four-year framework that is going to be used to procure design services for social housing projects across the UK. The framework will also be made available to local authorities and other organisations that are responsible for social housing construction – with L&Q’s consent – to call off contracts. Currently, L&Q has an existing £50 million design framework in place that includes a number of major architect’s firms, including Hawkins Brown, Studio Egret West, Shepphard Robson and Haworth Tompkins.

Tendering for the L&Q Design Framework

30 practices are going to be invited to tender for the L&Q Design Framework and the deadline for sending in bids for the process is 4th October. There are two stages to the process of choosing practices to be involved in the Design Framework. The first is a selection questionnaire that will be reviewed and assessed by L&Q. Those firms that pass this first stage of the process will then be provided with access to pricing documents. The second stage of the tender process is then briefed by L&Q to those firms that have been successful.

The need for more social housing investment

The number of people who are now in need of social housing in the UK has hit more than 3.8 million and government targets for house building numbers in the years to come rely on a commitment to this part of the sector. Investment in the construction of social housing has a huge range of benefits, from benefitting local supply chains to income and output growth and the regeneration of previously troubled areas. For individuals, it provides housing options where there may otherwise be none.

Social housing is a key need for the UK property market and the L&Q Design Framework is looking for architects keen to be involved in creating the solution.

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