My Department has for some time, provided guidance to local authorities when they are undertaking cost effectiveness analyses in respect of high value publicly-funded social housing projects. The local authorities' responsibility in this regard, arises from their role as Sponsoring Agencies for such projects which, under the Public Spending Code, means they have primary responsibility for evaluating, planning and managing their public investment projects.
To provide a greater level of support for the local authorities, my Department has formalised the guidance we provide and recently provided final draft guidance documents to the local authorities. We are seeking observations from the local authorities regarding this comprehensive guidance. While adjustments may be made based on that feedback, the local authorities in the meantime, are continuing to use the guidance for any of their projects that require a cost effectiveness analysis, which support has been available to them for some time.
The final draft guidance documents we have shared with the local authorities include 'Draft Sectoral Guidance for Social Housing Appraisals' and 'Worked Examples of Preliminary Appraisal & Detailed Appraisals'.