City Electrical Factors, Huws Gray, Jewson, NMBS, Travis Perkins and Wolseley are among 13 merchants to have secured spots on a large-scale materials framework for UK housing associations and local authorities, worth up to £1.42 billion over four years.

Launched by Procurement for Housing (PfH), the sixth generation of this framework sees a complete restructure with sixteen different lots allowing housing providers to procure plumbing, heating and gas, electrical and building materials, aids and adaptations, through either specialist merchants, managed stores (set up for their sole use) or branch networks.

The framework has a number of regional lots, enabling Scottish and Welsh housing providers to procure from suppliers local to them and it also offers self-serve options, so operatives can pick up materials even when branches are closed.

An ‘on-demand’ category enables housing associations and councils to use merchant branch networks for ad hoc purchases, when needed. Social landlords can also procure a tech platform that allows direct labour organisations (DLOs) and subcontractors to manage van stock, source products locally and have oversight of all spend across the framework.

The framework links with PfH’s widespread support for social landlords around asset management, which includes spend analytics reporting and a range of procurement insights delivered through its customer portal.

For a significant proportion of the social housing sector, buying materials for repairs, planned maintenance and retrofit accounts for over half their total spend. More than 450 housing providers used PfH’s previous materials framework.

Judy Ashcroft, Materials Category Manager at PfH, said: “Rising costs and severe shortages have made the last few years pretty turbulent for social landlords procuring materials. The cost of living crisis is compounding this with housing associations and councils seeing a spike both in demand for homes and their own costs.

“More than ever, certainty is needed so the sector can meet tough targets on improving stock, but social landlords also need flexible, forward-thinking ways to source materials and deliver insights so they can manage their spend effectively.”