June 17, 2024

Construction firms win places on £100m social housing ‘disruptors’ framework

21 suppliers have won spots on the third generation Social Housing Emerging Disruptors (SHED) framework which enables housing associations and councils to compliantly buy innovative services from start-ups and micro businesses. The framework is worth up to £100m over three years.

This is the third year that procurement services provider, Procurement for Housing (PfH) has launched an emerging disruptors framework and it partnered again with the Proptech Innovation Network to find the best fledging firms working in property technology.

The first SHED framework was set up in 2021 following demands from social landlords for innovative solutions to help them cope with competing pressures around fire safety, net zero, new build and decent homes.

Housing providers couldn’t find cutting edge solutions to these problems because micro enterprises struggled to enter the market. Extensive public procurement bureaucracy was putting off many entrepreneurial SMEs that had minimal resource for tendering.

Even when these smaller suppliers were able to bid, housing associations and local authorities found it hard to compliantly procure from them due to the non-traditional nature of their services, which makes the normal procurement process difficult.

PfH have designed the SHED framework to overcome these barriers with simple, SME-friendly tender documentation and a straightforward award process for social landlords. It is aligned with the Government’s National Procurement Strategy which encourages public authorities to increase innovation and the use of disruptive technologies throughout the supply chain.

Many of the suppliers appointed to SHED3 offer solutions that support with asset monitoring, damp and mould treatment and energy efficiency.

They include Help me Fix, which connects residents with skilled tradespeople over secure video calls to address property maintenance issues; Vericon Systems, a damp and mould risk management kit that can be installed in minutes to gain real time room-by-room temperature and humidity information; and Warmscore, a portable Internet of Things (IoT) toolset that combines environmental and energy data to benchmark heat loss, ventilation rates and mould risks.

Jenny Danson, director of the Proptech Innovation Network said: “I regularly see brilliant, imaginative young firms leave the social housing sector because it’s just too difficult for them to get onto public procurement frameworks. If we want innovation in this sector, we need initiatives like SHED which reduce the risks and costs for both suppliers and housing providers and help talented start-ups to get heard amongst all the noise.”

Neil Butters, head of procurement at PfH said: “When we first set up this disruptors’ framework, we thought long and hard about how to create an uncomplicated and flexible contracting process that would open opportunities up to small suppliers but ensure housing providers are still compliant. We saw our highest ever number of SMEs and micro-businesses bidding for SHED3 which is great news and very much in line with the ambitions of the new Procurement Act which is all about boosting SME participation and encouraging innovative procurement.”

For more info about the SHED3 framework visit https://procurementforhousing.co.uk/shed-3/