London borough commences development process for two digital services
Credit: Mike Knell/CC BY-SA 2.0
The London Borough of Southwark is exploring the development of digital tools to better monitor the construction and availability of affordable housing in the area.
In a contract notice published on the Digital Marketplace, the authority said that planning policy guidelines require that new housing developments include a minimum of 35% designated affordable housing – subject to viability. Southwark said that assessments to determine this viability “can be a source of disagreement between developers and councils”.
The authority has done some initial research and believes that it could potentially improve the viability-assessment process with the creation of a digital service that standardises how the data that feeds into them is collected. Better analysing this and other data could allow for improved benchmarking and more clarity for all parties, the council said, and could also speed up the assessment process.
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In a separate notice, Southwark said that it wants to implement a “data-driven process” for monitoring whether affordable housing is available to and inhabited by “those who need it”.
“Affordable homes provision is checked at the start of the planning and development process but there is no ongoing monitoring to ensure continuity of supply,” the council said. “There isn’t a current means of monitoring whether legitimate tenants are subletting a property or are no longer eligible for the band of rent they are paying.”
The borough is looking for to undertake an eight-week discovery phase for each service. The process, in each case, is scheduled to begin at the start of September. Work will take place at the council’s headquarters near London Bridge.
Suppliers have until 25 July to bid for both projects, each of which has a budget of up to £75,000 allocated for the discovery phase.