A report from the Executive Director – Place is attached. (Key decision – reference number 4682)
Councillor Gina Needs (Cabinet Member for Social Housing) introduced the report of the Executive Director – Place presenting the third report to Cabinet on Homelessness in Enfield.
1. That this report set out the Council’s approach to ensuring that residents had access to properties from a wide range of tenures from social rent to shared ownership.
2. The proposals set out in the report to support the Council’s objectives of preventing homelessness, reshaping the housing market including through the introduction of an ethical lettings agency by Housing Gateway Ltd. and the private sector licensing scheme. The range of support initiatives being provided were outlined as detailed in the report.
3. That the policies would enable the Council to support residents in accessing the right accommodation for them through a range of options, and in so doing provide long-term support and reduce the use of temporary accommodation.
4. Members welcomed the detailed report which demonstrated the Council’s commitment to the prevention of homelessness in the Borough.
5. In response to questions raised, Members were advised of the consultation responses that had been received and the range of respondents engaged which was a good representation of residents in the Borough.
6. That living rooms would not be counted as bedrooms in the policy.
7. That the allocations scheme was a core part of the Council’s homelessness strategy and its aim was to be a fair and honest policy for residents in housing allocations. The importance of the provision of good quality housing was highlighted.
8. The negative impact that the pandemic had had on individuals through rising unemployment and the increased risk of homelessness. The Council would continue to seek to prevent homelessness and seek to provide sustainable housing options. In doing so, the importance of maintaining decent housing standards was highlighted.
9. The Council would continue to work with its partners to take an early intervention approach through a range of options, as set out in the report, and so continue to reduce the number of households placed in temporary accommodation.
10. In considering the report, the work of the Poverty and Reducing Inequality Board was highlighted and how this report would help support the recommendations of the Board, which the Leader of the Council chaired.
11. A discussion took place on the provision of housing options for key workers in the Borough, including the estate regeneration developments and discussions with North Middlesex University Hospital; the importance of affordable housing provision was highlighted.
Alternative Options Considered: NOTED, the following alternative options that had been considered:
Allocations: The primary option considered was to continue with the current approach. This would see an increasing number of households staying in temporary accommodation for long periods. This would also prevent the Council from being able to assist other groups in need.
Placement Policy: The Placement Policy codifies the approach to the use of the private rented sector. The transformation programme was based on making best use to the private rented sector. Without a formally ... view the full minutes text for item 10