Community Policy and Review Panel
Thursday, 14th September, 2017 7.00 pm - Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Offices, Farnborough

Contact: Panel Administrator: Marion Young  Email:  marion.young@rushmoor.gov.uk Tel: 01252 398827

Items
No. Item

7.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 195 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 15th June, 2017 (copy attached).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 15th June, 2017 were approved and signed by the Chairman.

8.

Housing and Homelessness Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To note Report No. EHH 1711 which provides the Panel with an overview of the progress made in the delivery of the Housing and Homelessness Strategy over the six-month period from March to September 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel welcomed Mrs Zoe Paine, Strategy and Enabling Manager, who presented the ‘Housing and Homelessness Strategy Update September 2017’, as detailed in Report No. EHH 1711.  The Report provided the Panel with an overview of the good progress made in the delivery of the Housing and Homelessness Strategy over the six-month period from March to September 2017.  The Panel noted that the Strategy was designed to be a rolling document to enable it to be updated to reflect changes in national housing policies.

 

In relation to the Council’s housing objectives contained in the Strategy, the Panel was reminded that these fell into four overall housing themes:

 

(a)  The right homes in the right places;

(b)  Making the best use of housing stock;

(c)  Helping people solve their housing problems and provide a suitable home when needed; and

(d)  Enabling people to live in good quality accommodation that is right for their needs.

 

Zoe Paine outlined the key achievements, opportunities and challenges for each of the four housing themes.  These included:

 

(a)  The right homes in the right places

 

·         An increasing number of affordable homes being completed;

·         Housing and planning officers working more closely to secure policy compliant schemes, including liaison at an earlier stage with developers and providing developers with guidance on affordable housing;

·         Removal of prioritisation for local residents on the purchase of shared ownership properties;

·         Universal Credit only providing under 35s with funding for a room in a shared property rather than funding for their own property.

 

(b)  Making the best use of housing stock

 

·         Registered Providers have agreed in principle to share data to improve understanding of the composition of households living in affordable housing stock;

·         Lettings plan targets have been achieved on the Maida phase of the Wellesley development ensuring maximum movement / occupancy for each unit;

·         New Empty Homes Policy has been published with officers across the Council providing feedback and information to the lead officer;

·         Ongoing issue of there being a mismatch between household sizes and available accommodation i.e. under occupation in the owner-occupied sector and overcrowding in the private rented sector.

 

(c)  Helping people solve their housing problems and provide a suitable home when needed

 

·         The Trailblazer project funding has resulted in the recruitment of new staff to prepare for the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and to develop a person-centred approach to homelessness prevention;

·         Working more with the armed services and private landlords to identify empty properties;

·         Positive outcomes for street homelessness due to North Lane Lodge;

·         The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 is likely to increase the number of people approaching the Council for advice, assistance and temporary accommodation.

 

(d)  Enabling people to live in good quality accommodation that is right for their needs

 

·         Employment of an experienced caseworker to support vulnerable residents through the Disability Facilities Grant process;

·         Financial Assistance Policy being drafted to enable the Council to extend the scope of works that can be carried out with grant assistance;

·         Comprehensive review of fire safety issues following the Grenfell Fire;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Hampshire County Council - Consultation on overnight respite for children with disabilities pdf icon PDF 543 KB

To note Hampshire County Council’s Consultation (copy attached) on proposals to close overnight respite services at Sunbeams in Aldershot, and to consider any response the Panel may wish to make by the deadline of 2nd October, 2017.

Minutes:

The Panel noted Hampshire County Council’s Consultation on proposals to close overnight respite services at Sunbeams in Aldershot.  Panel members were encouraged to provide individual responses to the consultation by the deadline of 2nd October, 2017.

10.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 188 KB

To note the Community Policy and Review Panel’s updated work programme for 2017/18 (copy attached).

Minutes:

The Panel noted the updated work programme for 2017/18 Municipal Year.