An annual review of SHDP is completed, this assesses invitations to bid, bid formulations, programme targets and programme management.
The SHDP is managed as a rolling programme of social housing development activity. This means that an annual review of the programme is required to take account of changes in housing demand and new opportunities for social housing that have been identified. The annual review is called the ‘Bidding Round’.
Annual Bidding Round
Invitation to Bid - in August each year Procurement Groups are invited to submit a list of new schemes to NIHE (DPG) for consideration for the next updated 3-Year SHDP. Bids must be made using the required documentation which is available at the Development Programme Group.
The Programme is formulated by NIHE. Completed bids are forwarded by NIHE (DPG) to NIHE’s Corporate Services Division and then disseminated to each of the 5 NIHE Area Planners to match bids against unmet housing needs. This is a complex process involving for example, discussions with Associations, local NIHE District Offices and examination of waiting list and relevant housing data. It is important that NIHE Area Planners have advance notice of all bids made, so that they can quickly assess the relative merit of each scheme. There is a tight timetable for assembly of the programme, which does not allow time for the assessment of previously unknown schemes. Schemes first proposed, as part of the bidding process may not be included in the programme. Associations are reminded of the requirement to register sites in a timely manner, as they are identified, not as part of the Bidding process.
For more information visit our Site Registration page.
Schemes with a proposed Start on Site date in Year One of the new programme are required to have reached the stage of planning application. Bids where this milestone has not been reached may not be considered for inclusion in the new programme.
Bids are only required for schemes for which an Association plans to seek project approval in the new ‘Year 1’ and beyond. NIHE transfer schemes should be included in the bids. Associations should only bring forward Supported Housing schemes where there is written confirmation of the need from the NIHE and ‘in-principle’ support for Supporting People funding for the scheme
Schemes which already have project approval, or which are programmed for project approval in the current year, do not need to be included in bids for capital funding.
Schemes with Anticipated Start on Site in new ‘Year 1’
Associations must have already made an application to the Planning Service for planning approval.
Only bids arising from the following three categories will be considered for inclusion in the new programme:
For more information visit our Site Registration page.
Schemes in the Current 3-Year Programme
Bidding for those schemes already provisionally programmed in the last 2 years of the current programme will give an Association a fresh opportunity to update the NIHE (DPG) with revised numbers of units, costings and development timetable. Given that at least one year will have elapsed since the scheme was first introduced to the programme, the Associations should, in every case, have secured a NIHE letter of support.
Schemes with NIHE (AP) Support
New proposals which are not listed in the current 3-year programme, but which have formal NIHE support, should be bid for. Associations should have already registered the site in accordance with requirements
Schemes Pending NIHE (AP) Support
New proposals, which are not listed in the current 3-year programme, but where you have already sought formal NIHE support, should be bid for. Associations should have already registered the site in accordance with requirements
Issue of the 3 -Year ‘New Projects only’ programme
In February of each year, subject to availability of finance and ministerial approval requirements, NIHE (DPG) issues new projects only programme for the next 3-Year period. This programme comprises the schemes selected from those put forward in the bidding process. The development timetable for all the schemes included will be as advised by the Association.
Given the long lead-in time required for the development process, Associations are required to start work on this programme straight away.
At the beginning of each NIHE financial year, NIHE (DPG) asks Associations to formulate and submit their Year 1 target dates for project submission and claim dates for acquisition, start-on-site and practical completion tranches. These target dates are sought in respect of all schemes where some or all of these activities are planned to occur during Year 1.
Issue of the full 3-Year SHDP
Each year NIHE (DPG) issues a composite programme, having taken into account amendments from the target setting exercise, which includes both the new projects selected from the bids, plus any slippage from the previous year. This composite programme represents the full extent of programmed social housing development activity for the new 3-Year SHDP.
NIHE (DPG) exercise a high degree of flexibility in the interchange of schemes between all three years of the programme. Whilst the priority is always to deliver schemes listed in the Year 1 programme, NIHE (DPG) is aware that delays can occur. In those circumstances, NIHE (DPG) will welcome suggestions for bringing forward schemes from the later years. In such circumstances:
- The Association should contact NIHE (DPG) in the first instance to discuss the options. If satisfied, NIHE (DPG) will ask the Association to formally request the amendment by letter, detailing estimated costs and development timetable;
- NIHE (DPG) will make its decision based on the availability of finance and the Association’s ability to deliver in the timescale put forward;
- If approved, NIHE (DPG) will confirm the amendment by letter.
In-Year Programme Management
Project Update Forms (PUF)
Associations are required to update NIHE (DPG) on a monthly basis with progress of all schemes in the Year 1 programme. This update is carried out using the PUF return on which Associations are required to provide a detailed progress report for each of its relevant schemes. Forms must be accurate, complete and received by NIHE (DPG) by the 1st working day of each month. Persistently incomplete or inaccurate returns will be returned to the Association and result in the unnecessary delay of scheme approval applications and tranche payments.
Additions to the Programme
A facility exists, outside of the formal bidding process, to add schemes to the programme throughout the year. Associations should, in the first instance, approach the relevant NIHE Area Planner (AP) to ascertain support in principle.
Provided NIHE (AP) can confirm this support the following sequence of actions should take place:
- The Association should submit a site registration request on Form S1 with supporting documentation (for more information see Site Registration)
- Then, or in tandem, approach NIHE (DPG) to discuss a programme slot
- If satisfied, and Housing Need support is confirmed, NIHE (DPG) will ask the Association to formally request the addition by letter, detailing estimated costs and development timetable
- NIHE (DPG) will make its formal decision in the context of the existing SHDP, based on the availability of finance and the Association’s ability to deliver in the timescale put forward
- If accepted, NIHE (DPG) will confirm the addition by letter
- Associations should then include the addition on their next monthly PUF