Venue: Council Offices, Farnborough
Contact: Administrator, Justine Davie Tel. (01252) 398832, Email. firstname.lastname@example.org
To consider the Executive Director’s Report No. ED1803 (copy attached) and receive a supporting presentation on the establishment of a Local Housing Company.
The Board considered the Executive Director (Customers, Digital and Rushmoor 2020) Report No. ED1803 which set out the Strategic Case, Economic Case and Commercial Case for a proposal to set up a local housing company and provided information on the business case process up to the point where a preferred option was chosen and the commercial case was made. If the Board was content with the first three cases, then the Financial Case and Management Case would be considered by the Board at a future meeting. The comments and views of the Board would be presented to the Cabinet when a decision to recommend the Council to set up a Housing Company would be considered.
The Board was reminded that the Council Plan set out a priority to establish a local housing company as a vehicle to participate directly in the provision of housing. It was envisaged that the proposed housing company would provide homes for private market rent, which would improve the supply and quality of housing in this sector, and also enable other housing tenures either directly or in partnership. A draft business case had been prepared using the HM Treasury Green Book five case model, which evaluated whether a business case could be made for continuing with a project considering five key areas:
· the strategic case - the case for change;
· the economic case – the options for delivery, public value;
· the commercial case – the legal requirements, commercial considerations and risk analysis;
· the financial case – funding and financial viability; and
· the management case – delivering successfully.
Members were advised that the business case had been reviewed by the Council’s legal advisors, Freeths, who had confirmed that the Council’s proposal to set up a housing company was within its powers and Freeths had also provided tax and VAT advice.
The Strategic Case considered the establishment of a new housing delivery vehicle as a mechanism to help improve quality and choice in the Borough’s housing offer. This would link into the Council’s regeneration priorities and with the wider priorities of meeting housing need contained in the Housing and Homelessness Strategy and the Council’s need to achieve financial sustainability and develop new revenue streams to support its ongoing service delivery (Rushmoor 2020). There was also widespread agreement that the long term undersupply of housing had created unaffordable house prices and rents, with a quarter of young adults still living with their parents and long waiting lists for social housing. It was estimated that the country needed 225,000 to 275,000 or more new homes per year to keep up with population growth and to tackle years of undersupply.
The Report gave details of housing need within Rushmoor and the current situation with regard to the private rented sector, affordable housing and temporary accommodation. It was also noted that the Council had a small portfolio of property assets. The Council wanted to make best use of this portfolio to meet its policy objectives, including its objective to ... view the full minutes text for item 10.