We have welcomed the opportunities for local councils to become direct providers of new homes.

The Housing Forum is committed to collaboration and sharing best practice. Our Councils Network aims to make a positive contribution at both the strategic and practitioner level.

As the unique network for all involved in the housing supply chain, The Housing Forum has encouraged Councils into membership, beginning with London Councils, Kent Councils and Greater Manchester Councils.

In 2019 we responded to increased interest shown by Councils for our support in developing a network for Local Authority housebuilding around the country and also to provide a valuable professional perspective on the commercial realities of housebuilding, sales risk, viability issues and development lifecycles, and to help Local Authorities evaluate MMC building and different contractual routes.

We set up practitioner panels for local Councils to come together and share experiences and learning, and began a series of panels in the North West and South West, with many more planned for 2020-2021, online for now.

Our network of Local Authorities has continued to expand and now represents 75 authorities nationally, including all Local Authorities in Greater London, Greater Manchester and Kent. Other City Councils in membership include Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield, Stoke on Trent and Southampton. We also have a range of District Councils in membership.

Our direction is set by our influential Board which is drawn from our membership and observers from MHCLG, RICS, GLA and Homes England. Their expertise provides unrivalled insight commercially, socially and politically.

Our Local Councils Advisory Group supports us in setting the agenda for events, research and reports – identifying key areas of expertise and knowledge that can support local Councils.

We host a biannual Councils Housing Conference and our latest report can be found here. Councils across England are strongly represented – our webinars typically attract more than 150 delegates. Other reports, many relevant to Councils, can be found here.

“We value The Housing Forum’s cross sector membership and the breadth of the discussions that offers. In particular, we have found it really useful to listen to a range of different voices including Local Authorities, housing associations, construction companies, manufacturers and consultants all around one table.”

~ Homes England

In addition to national conferences and webinars, we have hosted panel events and forums around the country of two main types in the past 18 months:

Local Council Practitioner Panels

Panel events packed full of practical guidance for local councils setting out to build.

These panels have covered issues such as

  • Viability assessments
  • Procurement options
  • Design quality and construction quality.
  • Options and choices in development services
  • Roles and responsibilities in partnership working

These events have been held in Stoke and Southampton with a number of others planned.

Development Partnership Forums

These networking events are for all the parties involved in partnership house building and regeneration across all tenures. Events assess the operational markets and provide a platform for the development and promotion of new initiatives.

New entrants into the housing market, including local council and housing association companies are welcomed. Invitations are extended to the whole Housing Forum membership to foster sharing of best practice across the private and public sector.

Participants have included central and local government, GLA, Homes England, MHCLG, contractors, developers, housing association suppliers and consultants. Events include themed presentations and discussions on housing policy, design, regulation, investment, strategic development and major settlements.

Join us


As well as complimentary invitations to the above forums, the annual subscription provides a range of benefits and guarantees a free place at each of our major national events and at many of our smaller, often regional events.

Membership is for the entire organisation and you are free to select who should attend particular events and work streams in line with business requirements.

See here for a full list of benefits.

What our members say