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Two housing consortia set out plans for four-year £4bn framework

Two major housing consortia have laid out plans for a £4bn four-year housing framework covering central England and Wales.

The Central Housing Investment Consortium (CHIC) and Efficiency East Midlands (EEM) together represent 73 local authorities and housing associations.

The £4bn framework, which is divided into nine lots, will involve a major housebuilding programme across a large area of the UK, including the West Midlands, East Midlands, the South-west, and Wales.

This is the first such framework that CHIC has procured, although it currently has contractor frameworks for asset management works, 15-year materials frameworks, and a series of merchant frameworks.

Each of the nine lots includes separate housing targets, which are divided geographically, according to tender notices.

There are three lots per region: a small projects lot for developments up to 20 units; a medium projects lot, which includes developments of between 15 and 75 units; and a large projects lot for schemes of 50 or more units.

The value of the lots ranges from £66m to £1.12bn, with the overall framework valued at £4.24bn (see box).

Projects will involve construction of a range of homes across a variety of tenures, including for social and affordable rent, shared ownership, market rent and outright sale.

CHIC/EEM Framework lots

Lot 1: Small schemes, Central West England: up to £241m

Lot 2: Medium schemes, Central West England: up £542m

Lot 3: Large schemes, Central West England: up to £903m

Lot 4: Small schemes, Central East England: up to £299m

Lot 5: Medium schemes, Central East England: up to £673m

Lot 6: Large schemes, Central East England: up to £1.12bn

Lot 7: Small schemes, South and Wales: up to £66m

Lot 8: Medium schemes, South and Wales: up to £149m

Lot 9: Large schemes, South and Wales: up to £249m

Speaking to Construction News, Chris Seeley, a partner at CHIC parent company Ark Housing Consultancy, said there was no limit on the number of homes that the framework could deliver.

“There’s no cap on the number of units – the lots are split between small schemes, medium schemes and large schemes, so that contractors can then apply for different scales of schemes to suit their capabilities,” he said.

When asked what sort of contractor the consortia would look to partner with, he said that no contractor would be excluded from applying for lots due to their size.

“We think there’ll be a mixed portfolio of contractors – smaller schemes might suit smaller contractors while larger schemes might suit large contractors,” he said.

“But it doesn’t exclude any one contractor from bidding.

“We don’t have a size of contractor particularly in mind per lot, but we do envisage, and would hope, we would attract interest from a wide contractor base who present their skills and their capabilities in a way that is attractive to us,” Mr Seeley added.

The framework is for four years, and while Mr Seeley added that there was not an option for an extension “as such”, it is “envisaged that there would be a cool-off period that may extend up to a further two years”.

The consortia are also procuring a construction consultancy and project management services framework, which will work in tandem with the housing framework.

Like the housing framework, the consultancy framework, worth up to £53m, is divided into three regional lots, covering Central England, East of England, and Wales and South-west England.

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