Agenda and draft minutes

Housing Scrutiny Panel - Monday, 11th March, 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

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No. Item




The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Apologies were received from Cllr Chamberlain who was substituted by Cllr Steven.




To receive Declarations of Interest in respect of the agenda items


No Declarations of Interest were received.



To agree the minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2024.


AGREED the minutes of the meeting held on 12 December 2023. Cllr Savva advised that he had given apologies for this meeting but this had not been recorded in the minutes.


Social Housing Allocations pdf icon PDF 195 KB

To receive an update on social housing allocations.


RECEIVED the report of Richard Sorenson (Head of the Housing Advisory Service)


Neil Wightman (Director of Housing Services (residents) presented this item with Joanne Drew (Strategic Director of Housing & Regeneration).


Neil Wightman provided a short update on social housing allocations this year. He drew the Panels attention to the key points in the report listed under the main considerations section (numbers 2-6) in the report.


Since the scheme was last amended four years ago the numbers on the housing register have doubled to 7,500. The number of properties allocated yearly is approximately 450, this has been consistent over the last few years. Demand far outstrips supply of properties.


Good progress has been made on the decant of both Shropshire and Cheshire House and advised that these households have been given significant priority to be moved through the decant process.


Whilst the highest demand is for three bedroomed properties the majority of properties becoming available are one and two bedrooms. The report includes tables of allocations by bedroom size and by the means categories of these allocations. The emergency and exceptional take the highest number of the Lets, the majority of these being decants.


There is currently a government consultation on social housing allocations.


In answer to questions:


Neil Wightman agreed to provide members with figures of how many social housing allocations are outside of Enfield. Members were advised that this is a fairly low figure. Action Neil Wightman


A further update was provided on the decanting of the Shropshire and Cheshire House. There were around 170 tenanted homes in total, currently down to 34 and half of these have put expressions of interest on other properties. Officers are still working on this on a daily basis.


It was confirmed that the Shires is being decommissioned which means that the council will no longer be letting these buildings, looking at alternative options instead.


There was further discussion on the review of the allocations policy with regards to objectives, principles, and emerging ideas. This will be a light touch review as only 4 years since the last review. There are some clear decisions and priorities to be looked at such as overcrowding and who is best to get the scarce resources available. It was agreed that the review consultation could be presented at the next Housing Scrutiny meeting.


Overcrowding is a difficult issue; the report shows that only 16 large bedroom properties have been allocated this year. The Council’s development programme will deliver some larger properties between now and August. As these are small numbers the review will look at what can be done to manage this, including what other authorities are doing on this issue. Looking at what support can be provided families in their homes living, supporting them to manage. It should be noted that we will never be able to meet demand.


Last year a 10-year fixed term tenure was introduced. It is hoped that after this period these larger properties are no longer required. Larger families with older  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Antisocial behaviour (ASB) pdf icon PDF 284 KB

To review progress and performance against the new policy objectives set out in the Antisocial Behaviour (ASB) policy.


RECEIVED the report of Neil Wightman (Director of Housing Services (residents)).


Neil Wightman presented this item which provided a review against the new policy introduced last year.


Enfield has seen an increase in ASB offences in the last 12 months, the figure in the report is for ASB in general across the borough not just ASB in Social Housing. There has also been an increase across London but at a lower level.


The Housing team will be taking responsibility for ASB on Housing estates, previous management detailed under 5 in the report. This is currently in transition and training is ongoing.


The new policy is very clear that we will not tolerate ASB. There is a clear distinction between ASB the council can control and what is a crime and a police matter. There is a good relationship with the police.


The 12 service standards are detailed under point 11 and these are beginning to be tracked. The report contains a table (point12) details the types of ASB Enforcement Action and the Responsible Service.


The Council is looking to increase enforcement action and potential possession actions to send out a clear message that the Council will be tough

on ASB. A target will be set this year.  


Questions were then taken on the report and the service.


Paragraph 8 of the report relates to COVID, anecdotally the increase in working from home with people spending more time at home could have affected this.


Should you be evicted it is likely that they would be considered intentionally homeless, it is rare to be accepted after ASB resulted in an eviction. It is a very high test to meet court thresholds for evictions. This process is lengthy, and the Council must show that everything has been done to support the household prior to eviction. Often perpetrators are often also victims. Advise and support provided through the Homelessness Service. tough problems to solve, where help needed will work with other agencies to try to resolve situation.


Members felt that it is helpful to make very clear to households what ASB is the Councils responsibility and what is not and should be referred to the police.


It was confirmed that the drugs activity mainly related to cannabis use in flats, but there are hotspots of more serious drugs and will work closely with the police on this.


The report refers to the introduction of a noise app to help manage noise cases. Officers agreed to circulate more information on this. Action Neil Wightman.


Following Members request officers agreed to circulate details of main housing association providers to assist councillors when dealing with residents on ASB on these estates. Action: Neil Wightman


It was clarified that the figures under 17 relates to residents or family members living in Enfield. The figures listed here will include repeat offenders and priority on dealing with focus on those who persistently offend, and training is ongoing on this. The Government Consultation is helpful relating to this The Council is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Work programme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To note the Housing Scrutiny Work Programme for 2023/24.


NOTED the work programme. A further item was added to the next meeting on an update on changes to the Allocations Policy.




To note the dates of future meetings as follows:


22nd April 2024


The date of the future meeting was noted as follows:


Monday 22 April 2024