Agenda and draft minutes

Housing Scrutiny Panel - Thursday, 11th February, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Please use the links on the Agenda Front Sheet to join the virtual meeting

Contact: Andy Ellis Email: (andy.ellis@enfield.gov.uk 0208 132 1111) 

Items
No. Item

8.

WELCOME AND APOLOGIES

Minutes:

The Chair, Cllr Elif Erbil welcomed everyone to the meeting. Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Susan Erbil and Cllr Gina Needs, Cabinet Member for Social Housing.

9.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the items on the agenda.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received.

10.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 1 DECEMBER 2020 pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To receive and agree the minutes of the meeting held on 1 December 2020.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 1 December were agreed.

 

Matters Arising

 

It was confirmed that the review of the Customer Voice is progressing, with a report due to go to Cabinet in May.

 

 

11.

HOUSING ADVISORY SERVICE AND ALLOCATIONS POLICY pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To receive a presentation from Joanne Drew, Director of Housing and Regeneration.

Minutes:

Joanne Drew introduced the item and Richard Sorensen took Members through the presentation.

1) It was noted that Cabinet had agreed a range of measures to support people who are at risk of homelessness or who have become homeless. Early intervention prevention has been key and the aim is to reduce the number of residents in temporary accommodation for long periods.

2) To support this work, the new structure within the Housing Department is now being recruited to. The Housing Advisory Service is in its early stages.

3) The new service aims to enabling everyone to access a stable, secure and decent home regardless of tenure.

4) A breakdown in the number of homes in the borough, highlighted that of the total 125,370 homes, 8% are local authority homes, 7% are registered provider homes and 27% are private rented homes.

5) 5,500 homes are used as temporary accommodation.

6) There are currently, 3100 homeless households in Enfield, in addition to 157 older people waiting for sheltered housing. In a good year, the Council has approximately 350 properties to let. As a result of the pandemic, far less people are moving, therefore the number of vacant properties available is significantly reduced.

7) The main points of the former housing allocations policy were explained. The new policy will not involve quotes but will be points driven, allowing greater transparency. A local connections criteria will be introduced and there will be more collaborative working between Social Services and Health Services.

8) Communications to date have included newsletters to Temporary Accommodation tenants, the website has been updated, 2000 enquires have been generated and PSL tenants have been contacted.

9) Under the new allocations policy, high priority will be given to those with health or social care needs, in addition to those who may be downsizing. Medium priority will go to those in overcrowded or temporary accommodation. A lower priority will be given to those who’s situation will improve over time.

10) Greater priority will be given to disabled people, families with sick or disabled children, people transferring and homeless households moving to the private rented sector.

11) Less priority will be received by households with no other needs or no local connection.

12) The new scheme aims to reduce the period of time a family may be housed in temporary accommodation. There is a points incentive to be a successful tenant in the private rented sector which wasn’t available under the old scheme. The points available are increased by 10% annually for private rented sector tenants.

13) Tenants who have been in temporary accommodation since November 2012 (pre- localism) will be allocated 750 points if they move in to the private rented sector and will be allowed to bid for properties. For those tenants remaining in council temporary accommodation, they will receive 650 points but will not be permitted to bid for properties. They will receive one direct offer of suitable accommodation. In reality, there are some families who have been in temporary accommodation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

WORK PROGRAMME 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 24 KB

To note the work programme.

Minutes:

The work programme was noted and the following items were confirmed for the next meeting of the panel.

 

·         Responsive Repairs – to include an update on cladding issues, following recent Government announcements.

·         The Role of Housing Associations.

13.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

To note the dates of future meetings as follows:

 

Thursday 15 April 2021

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was noted as 15 April 2021.