Agenda and minutes

Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Panel
Tuesday, 13th March, 2018 6.30 pm

Venue: Civic Centre, High Road, Wood Green, N22 8LE. View directions

Contact: Philip Slawther, Principal Committee Co-ordinator 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Filming at Meetings

Please note that this meeting may be filmed or recorded by the Council for live or subsequent broadcast via the Council’s internet site or by anyone attending the meeting using any communication method. Although we ask members of the public recording, filming or reporting on the meeting not to include the public seating areas, members of the public attending the meeting should be aware that we cannot guarantee that they will not be filmed or recorded by others attending the meeting. Members of the public participating in the meeting (e.g. making deputations, asking questions, making oral protests) should be aware that they are likely to be filmed, recorded or reported on. 

 

By entering the meeting room and using the public seating area, you are consenting to being filmed and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings.

 

The chair of the meeting has the discretion to terminate or suspend filming or recording, if in his or her opinion continuation of the filming, recording or reporting would disrupt or prejudice the proceedings, infringe the rights of any individual or may lead to the breach of a legal obligation by the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair referred Members present to agenda Item 1 as shown on the agenda in respect of filming at this meeting, and Members noted the information contained therein’.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Engert and Cllr Newton.

 

Cllr Carter was in attendance as a substitute Member.

3.

Urgent Business

The Chair will consider the admission of any late items of urgent business (late items will be considered under the agenda item where they appear. New items will be dealt with as noted below).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no items of Urgent Business.

4.

Declarations of interest

A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a prejudicial interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered:

 

(i) must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent, and

(ii) may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must withdraw from the meeting room.

 

A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Register of Members’ Interests or the subject of a pending notification must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.

 

Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal interests and prejudicial interests are defined at Paragraphs 5-7 and Appendix A of the Members’ Code of Conduct.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest.

5.

Deputations/Petitions/Presentations/Questions

To consider any requests received in accordance with Part 4, Section B, Paragraph 29 of the Council’s Constitution.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no deputations, petitions, presentations or questions.

6.

Minutes - 7 November 2017 pdf icon PDF 182 KB

To approve the minutes of the Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 7 November 2017.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel requested an update on the Thames Water issue. In response, the Panel was advised that HfH were still looking at the case and the Thames Water contract. Initial legal advice was that that the decision was taken wrongly and that officers were awaiting the outcome of a test case.

 

The minutes of the Panel meeting of 7th November were agreed as a correct record of the meeting.

7.

Minutes - 19 December 2017 pdf icon PDF 169 KB

To approve the minutes of the Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 19 December 2017.  

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In response to the previous item on Broadwater Farm Gas and Fire Safety, the Panel sought assurances from HfH about what lessons had been learnt in relation to engaging with residents. In response, the Interim Managing Director of HfH, acknowledged the need to engage at an early stage and keep everyone informed of developments at regular intervals. 

 

The minutes of the Panel meeting on 19th December were agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.

8.

Housing-Related Support for Older People pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a presentation on the Housing Support Transformation programme in relation to older people. The presentation was given by Gill Taylor, Programme Delivery Manager and was included in the agenda pack at pages 17-29.

 

The following points were noted in response to the discussion of the presentation:

a.    The Panel sought clarification on the hub and cluster model and whether the hubs would be located within sheltered housing.  In response, the Panel was advised that the hubs were existing sheltered housing services and the location of those hubs was selected to ensure that they were in close proximity to cluster services. Hub managers would be responsible for ensuring that all tenants in the hub were aware of the cluster services. When placing new tenants, those with higher level of support needs would be encouraged to live in a hub service providing greater access to staff and facilities.

b.    In response to a question on what was being done to support those within general needs accommodation, the Panel was advised that a key feature of the hubs was their utilisation of community spaces to increase access to services and reduce social isolation. It was hoped that networks from partner agencies could be used to spread the reach and impact of these services, including to older people with general needs accommodation.

c.    The Panel queried the role of the hubs in filling gaps in existing adult social care services. In response, officers suggested the hubs weren’t a replacement for adult social care centres but that some services could be incorporated into the community spaces. Further work was being done to understand the extent to which an outreach programme could be incorporated.

d.    In response to a question about whether there was a high void rate in sheltered housing, officers advised that there was a high void rate across both HfH properties and those commissioned by voluntary sector partners.

e.    The Panel sought assurances around whether there was enough interaction between sheltered housing and other housing services. The Panel also questioned whether there was a range of 2 or 3 bedroom properties available through sheltered housing. In response, officers advised that a lot of work was undertaken to match voids with residents who were in temporary accommodation or those who required a larger property.  Officers acknowledged that there were residents who lived in sheltered accommodation with 2 or 3 bedrooms.

f.     The Panel questioned whether good neighbour schemes were still in existence. In response, officers advised that those schemes had changed significantly over the last ten years following budget cuts, and now they tended to just be general needs properties allocated to older people.

g.    The Panel highlighted a recent case study involving Anglesey County Council in which they had adopted a housing first policy and had used void properties to house homeless people. In response, officers commented that the Council already commissioned housing first for homelessness in the borough and that they had been really successful in helping to stabilise  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

TA Joint Venture

Verbal update.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a presentation on the establishment of two new housing companies  being set up to provide housing stock for Temporary Accommodation. The presentation was given by Alan Benson, Head of Housing Strategy and Commissioning.

 

The following points were noted in response to the discussion of the presentation:

a.    The Panel sought clarification on what the incentives were for the joint venture partner. In response, officers outlined that the Council would provide a void guarantee and in doing so would provide tenants for each property. This would provide the partner with a guaranteed source of rent and also allow them to borrow money at very low rates. In addition, the joint venture partner would receive the maintenance contract for the properties as well as refurbishment fees for each of the 400-800 properties. It was hoped that the wining consortia would include a housing association to provide expertise in both acquisitions and property management.

b.    The Panel queried the need to enter into an agreement with a partner organisation and questioned why the Council couldn’t borrow the money, build and manage the units on its own. In response, officers outlined that there would be two companies, one of which would be entirely owned by the Council and would be funded through capital investment and a second joint venture which was entirely revenue funded. The advantages of the joint venture was that the Council could acquire stock without undertaking any borrowing itself.

c.    In response to questions about where the properties would be located, officers advised that as many properties as possible would be in Haringey, however it was also in the Council’s interest to purchase them as quickly as possible. Officers advised that all properties should be in north London and hopefully contiguous to Haringey. Furthermore, each purchase would be signed off by Cabinet. Officers stated that it may be a good time to buy property due to  pending changes to the rules around Buy-to-Let mortgages and wider volatility in the housing market.

d.    In response to a question about the success of similar schemes, officers stated that Bromley had progressed quite far with a similar scheme and were in the process of selling stock to sure up other services.

e.    In response to a question, officers clarified that Right-to-Buy receipts could not be used to purchase properties in a wholly-owned Council vehicle. Out  of the two companies, RTB receipts would go the capital-funded CBS vehicle.

f.     In response to concerns about the rationale for a joint venture, the Panel were advised that as well as not being able to invest Right-to-Buy receipts, there were questions about the levels of rent that could be charged through a wholly owned vehicle. Officers emphasised that the purpose of these properties was not to build homes at social rent levels but to acquire properties for temporary accommodation only.

g.    In response to a question around who would hold the tenancy, officers advised that the landlord would be a registered provider, such as a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

New London Plan pdf icon PDF 367 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a presentation on the consultation to the new London Plan, from Emma Williamson AD for Planning.  A table of the representations made by Planning Officers in response to the consultation was included in the agenda pack at pages 31-54.

The following points were noted in response to the discussion of the report and presentation:

a.    The Committee commended the thoroughness of the consultation response.

b.    In response to a question around housing quality and standards, the AD Planning agreed to come back to the Panel with further information relating to the provision of separate kitchens in family sized housing units. (Action: Emma Williamson).

c.    In response to a question about the Council’s position on small sites, the Panel were advised that they were not judged separately from overall housing targets. The target in London Plan for Haringey was  626 small sites  which officers admitted would be challenging, and would also superceed local policies such as the family housing protection zone.

d.    In response to a question about what local leavers were available to restrict the implementation of small sites or Pockets Homes, officers advised that Planning Policy determined acceptability criteria and that pocket homes met the GLA’s minimum size criteria and so could not be refused on those grounds.  Officers confirmed that Pocket Homes were classified as affordable homes.

e.    In response to a question, officers conformed that there was nothing to stop the Council selling off small sites on its land for development and then using the revenue to purchase larger sites. Officers confirmed that the revenue generated from disposal could also be combined with Right-to-Buy receipts. However, Right-to-Buy receipts could not be combined with GLA funding. A wholly-owned vehicle could not use Right-to-Buy receipts and would have to borrow the money.

f.     Officers also confirmed that the Council was able to acquire TfL land in the borough. However, it was suggested that TfL would likely want to develop their own sites to raise revenue.

11.

Social Housing Scrutiny Report

Verbal Update.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a verbal update on the Social Housing Scrutiny report. The Panel noted that the publication deadline for the report going to OSC was 16th March.

12.

Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received a report which provided an update on the Panel’s work programme.

 

RESOLVED

 

     I.        That the Panel considered its work programme and considered any areas to be rolled over to 2018/19.

    II.        That OSC be asked to endorse the carry forward of work at its next meeting.

13.

New items of urgent business

To consider any items admitted at item 3 above.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

N/A

14.

Dates of Future Meetings

TBC

Additional documents:

Minutes:

N/A