A report from the Director of Health, Housing and Adult Social Care is attached. This seeks approval of the Council’s Homelessness Strategy 2013-2018 and Action Plan. (Key decision – reference number 3822)
(8.20 – 8.25 pm)
Councillor Ahmet Oykener (Cabinet Member for Housing) introduced the report of the Director of Health, Housing and Adult Social Care (No.140) seeking approval of the Council’s Homelessness Strategy 2013-2018 and Action Plan which set out plans for tackling homelessness in the borough.
1. That addressing homelessness was an important priority for the Council in the light of the impact of current welfare reforms, changes in national housing policy and changes in the borough’s local housing market. Members were advised that the GLA Housing Strategy was currently out for consultation.
2. That Enfield’s vision for tackling homelessness was to: “Eliminate homelessness in the borough and enable people to make their own informed choices for housing they can afford”.
3. Members’ attention was drawn to Enfield’s five key ambitions for its Homelessness Strategy as detailed in the Strategy document.
4. That the Council’s plans for increasing the supply of affordable housing in Enfield were set out in Enfield’s 15 year Housing Strategy. Councillor Oykener proposed two amendments to the wording of the Homelessness Strategy to strengthen the links between housing supply and addressing homelessness as set out in section 5 below.
5. The following proposed amendments to the Homelessness Strategy document which would strengthen Enfield’s strategic position and commitment to negotiating and retaining a good supply of housing for local single people:
(a) Insert in the Executive Summary:
Key to addressing homelessness in Enfield is maximising the supply of homes for local people and making best use of Enfield’s existing housing stock. These are important corporate priorities. Our plans are set out in more detail in Enfield’s Housing Strategy and will evolve in response to changing circumstances. Our plans include:
· Utilising Enfield Council’s Investment Partner Status to compete for more funding to build council homes
· Actively maximising the development of council owned land, including small sites and garages as well as using other innovative approaches to increase the supply of homes
· Joint working with our partner Housing Associations to develop new housing supply
(b) Insert under Ambition 1: Preventing Homelessness in Enfield, and enabling households to find homes they can afford, additional bullet point:
· Work with housing association partners providing homes for single people at risk of homelessness to ensure that supply continues to meet identified housing need.
6. Members supported the proposed amendments which would strengthen the Homelessness Strategy.
Alternative Options Considered: NOTED that no alternative options had been considered as it was a statutory requirement for every local authority to publish a Homelessness Strategy every 5 years.
DECISION: The Cabinet agreed to approve the Council’s Homelessness Strategy 2013-2018 and Action Plan subject to the amendments detailed above.
Reason: It was imperative that at this time of unparalleled national policy change and Government financial austerity measures, the strategic direction was clearly set out by Enfield Council and its Partners for preventing and tackling homelessness in the borough, and that it was endorsed by Cabinet to demonstrate Enfield’s corporate commitment to addressing homelessness in Enfield.
(Key decision – reference number 3822) ... view the full minutes text for item 6