Coming back from a fortnight's holiday I noticed that the Government took the opportunity to update its pages on the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) Wave 2 - as if they were waiting for me to stop looking!
Registered providers, local authorities and combined authorities intending to bid for Wave 2 funding should look over the information that is now available - while the window for applications doesn't officially open until late August or early September, given the tight time restraints for submission of bids and for completion of works if you are successful, being on the front foot is imperative to a successful programme.
My recommendation is that if you are looking to apply for funding, some straightforward actions you could take at this stage could include:
- review the draft application form which has been shared on the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) website, and ensure that you are armed with all the information that you will need to complete it, or know that you can obtain this swiftly;
- undertake a review of the legal documents - the funding agreement, data sharing agreement, and privacy notice that it is intended will be used when the funding is allocated are now available alongside the draft application. You will want to understand their terms - and the risks and responsibilities they represent - in advance of signing up for them;
- read the guidance notes and clarifications available on the BEIS website;
- look to the Social Housing Retrofit Accelerator to understand the support that they can offer, which starts with a self-assessment tool and a wealth of masterclasses and know-how; and
- starting thinking about your procurement routes - are you using existing partnerships or do you need to engage with the marketplace now?
Wave 2.1 is likely to see the vast majority of the £800 million allocated to the SHDF in the 2021 Spending Review distributed to applicants, so applicants should not be fooled into thinking they can wait for further waves of funding. Action is needed now if you want to secure decarbonisation funding under SHDF for your housing stock.
The delivery window for SHDF Wave 2.1 runs to 30 June 2025. All grant funding for Wave 2.1 projects must be transferred to the grant recipient and spent by 31 March 2025, meaning projects can use only co-funding in the final 3 months of delivery.