The housing sector is missing out on key source of local suppliers

Contracts Finder is the government’s single procurement portal for publishing public sector opportunities. The social housing market could be a rich source of local, low value contracts, just the sort of opportunities that our almost 32,000 registered supplier users, 61% of which are SMEs, would be interested in supplying.

Local businesses are currently missing out because over 70% of Residential Social Landlords (RSLs) are not using Contracts Finder to advertise their contracts. To put this in perspective, there are nearly double the number of social housing providers as there are organisations comprising the whole of central government, the NHS and local authorities combined!

In turn, RSLs are missing out on a rich source of small – local suppliers. By not using Contracts Finder there is also the risk of not being compliant with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, which require that all advertised public sector opportunities and awarded contracts over £25,000 in the wider public sector are published on Contracts Finder.

Registration is easy, Contracts Finder is free to use and we continue to make improvements to the site. Recently we added a range of improvements for buyers to aid notice publication and review. We have also made improvements to help suppliers to find opportunities that are most relevant to them.

Contracts Finder now enables buyers to post supply chain notices, in addition to public sector opportunities. So if you are housing provider straddling both private and social housing stock, you can apply to use this facility to advertise both public sector and supply chain opportunities. Larger housing providers can also encourage their prime contractors to use this facility to advertise opportunities in their own supply chains.