A report from the Executive Director – Place is attached. (Key decision – reference number 4830)
(8.00 – 8.05 pm)
Councillor Dino Lemonides (Cabinet Member for Housing) introduced the report of the Executive Director – Place (No.165) setting out the Better Council Homes Workplan and Budgets for 2019/20.
1. That the provision and growth of good quality, affordable Council homes was a key priority for the Council, as set out in the report. This was an ambitious workplan which would result in significant improvements.
2. As set out in Appendix 2 and section 6 of the report, the major works programme for 2019/20 was expected to cost £41m. This would fund existing and proposed projects including £6.5m for fire safety works. This would be funded from HRA reserves.
3. The detailed proposals set out in the report regarding Better Quality Homes and Environments; Better Quality Housing Services; Delivering More Affordable Homes; and, Regenerating Estates (section 3 of the report referred).
4. The proposals for reinvigorating the Housing Advisory Board to ensure that residents including tenants and leaseholders had a role in advising Cabinet on housing policy and performance issues.
5. Members welcomed the report and noted the significant investment into the Council’s housing stock with approximately 7,000 homes set to benefit. The specific proposals regarding fire safety was also recognised, this was a key priority for the Council.
6. That good quality housing was one of the main determinants of good health and the proposals would have a positive impact on addressing health inequalities and improving outcomes for residents.
7. Both the short and long-term proposals in going forward. Further reports would be presented to future Cabinet meetings as appropriate, as set out in the report.
Alternative Options Considered: Not spending the GLA external funding of £18m would restrict the delivery of affordable housing on key housing sites and damage the Council’s reputation as an investment partner with the GLA. If the Council did not spend the Right to Buy Receipts on Council Homes in the specified period it would be required to repay receipts plus interest to government. Although the GLA Right to Buy offer would give the Council longer to spend any returned receipts it would be given less flexibility on the projects that the Council could fund.
DECISION: The Cabinet agreed to
Better Quality Homes and Environments
1. Consider the recommendations from the Repairs Task Force regarding the preferred option for the delivery of the responsive repairs service at the Cabinet meeting in April.
2. Delegate authority to the Cabinet Member for Housing in consultation with the Director of Housing and Regeneration to approve the Major Works programme for 2019/20 based on a priority approach including fire safety works as outlined in Appendix 2 of the report.
3. Delegate authority to the Cabinet Member for Housing in consultation with the Director of Law and Governance to approve the major works procurement plan noting that all such procurement activity would be carried out in accordance with the statutory OJEU framework and the Council’s procurement rules to ensure that the programme delivers value for money for tenants and leaseholders and to note that arising from this process the Executive Director – Place would authorise the award of the contracts.
4. Note that in the light of the results of the stock condition survey an accelerated programme would also be considered and brought back to Cabinet as appropriate.
Better Council Housing Services
5. Note the review of the Council housing service Target Operating Model to be undertaken during 2019 and the aim to monitor and deliver an increase in resident satisfaction.
6. Recommend to Council to approve the capital and revenue budget of £1.3m on the Civica Cx project, Workflow 360, Choice Based Lettings module and the development of the Target Operating Model.
Building New Homes
7. Note the positive outcome of the Council’s bid for grant funding and retention of right to buy receipts from the GLA “Building Council Homes for Londoners” programme.
8. Approve the 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 Greater London Authority Building Council homes for Londoners programme and the Council Housing affordable housing programme as outlined in Appendix 1 of the report.
9. Delegate to the Cabinet Member for Housing in consultation with the Director of Housing and Regeneration and Director of Finance to approve individual schemes included in the Building Council Homes for Londoners and affordable housing programme, and any substitute schemes as outline in Appendix 1 of the report.
10. Delegate authority to the Director of Housing and Regeneration in consultation with the Director of Law and Governance to approve the procurement and award of works contracts and consultants in support of the development programme.
11. Delegate authority to the Director of Housing and Regeneration in consultation with the Director of Finance to approve third party land and property acquisitions subject to due diligence and valuations.
12. Approve the allocation of a feasibility budget of £450k in the HRA to develop additional proposals for Estate based regeneration schemes which increase affordable housing for Enfield.
13. Approve the establishment of a Housing Advisory Board effective from May 2019.
RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL to approve the capital and revenue budget of £1.3m on the Civica Cx project, Workflow 360, Choice Based Lettings module and the development of the Target Operating Model.
Reason: To improve services for residents by improving the quality of existing and new homes and increasing the delivery of affordable homes for those in housing need, section 5 of the report referred.
(Key decision – reference number 4830)