A report from the Executive Director – Place is attached. (Key decision – reference number 5191)
Councillor Gina Needs (Cabinet Member for Social Housing) and Councillor Nesil Caliskan (Leader of the Council) introduced the report of the Executive Director – Place seeking to establish a new way of working with Affordable Housing Providers.
1. Members expressed their thanks to the officers involved for a detailed and thorough report. The report sought to establish a new way of working with Affordable Housing Providers to maximise contributors towards the delivery of the Council’s Good Growth Housing Strategy and delivery of 12,460 homes over the Local Plan period.
2. That the Charter would set out clear expectations, as detailed in the report, to ensure quality of affordable housing provision across the Borough and speed of delivery of new homes. There would be an annual review process reported to the Cabinet in future reports.
3. The reasons for the proposed partnership working with registered providers as explained in the report including effective housing delivery and financial implications of the approach being recommended.
4. That this would enable a strategic approach to housing delivery to be adopted utilising the expertise of registered providers and fulfilling the Council’s housing and regeneration ambitions.
5. The benefits of the proposed approach including speed of housing delivery and procurement processes. High quality registered providers would be selected with the required skills and expertise. The developments would be under the Council’s control. The establishment of a clear Charter would enable the Council to attract high quality registered providers to work with them in partnership.
6. In response to any potential impact on the procurement processes resulting from the Brexit arrangements, Members were advised that the same OJEU processes would apply in the short-term. The Council had a Brexit Panel, Chaired by Councillor Barnes, that had a comprehensive and thorough risk register that was regularly reviewed and reported on, which included procurement implications. The reporting process was set out, and assurances provided to Members that the risk register was kept under constant review.
7. Members discussed the benefits to residents living in housing association accommodation which currently represented approximately 8,000 homes in the Borough. The importance of all residents receiving a high standard of service was highlighted. The Charter would clearly set out the standards expected by the Council and would enable current arrangements to be built on through effective collaborative working with registered providers, as set out in the report.
8. That the proposals were in line with the Council Plan and Housing and Growth Strategy.
9. That there would be an opportunity for smaller registered providers to work with larger providers. The Charter would enable future collaboration to take place. Members noted that smaller providers could offer niche services for example, housing for young people or specific ethnic minorities.
10. That the report clearly set out the Council’s future approach to working in partnership with Registered Providers.
Alternative Options Considered: NOTED, the detailed options that had been considered as set out in paragraphs 83 to 95 of the report including: creating a framework; single ... view the full minutes text for item 6