Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Deanes. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Media

Items
No. Item

28/19

Apologies for absence and substitutions

Minutes:

Councillors Gavin James and Gary Watts sent apologies.

29/19

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

30/19

Urgent matters

To consider any items of business, other than those shown on this agenda and which, by reason of special circumstances to be stated at the meeting, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

 

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

31/19

Minutes of the meeting held on 9 January 2020 pdf icon PDF 226 KB

The Chair will move that the minutes of the meeting be signed as a correct record. The only part of the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 9 January were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

32/19

Housing & Homelessness Strategy 2020-24 pdf icon PDF 286 KB

Contact Officer:        Kate Randall

 

The report introduces a proposed Housing and Homelessness Strategy for 2020-24 and seeks views of the Committee on the draft.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Homes and Families introduced the Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2020-24. It was clarified that the draft strategy aimed to provide a framework, not an in depth policy or planning document, and had a key theme of opportunity.

 

The Service Lead for Housing and Social Inclusion clarified that BDBC was not the major financial contributor to the Night Light Winter Shelter scheme, but would assist if there were ever any gap in funding to ensure continued provision of the successful and popular facility.

 

It was suggested that the loss of Firstpoint had not caused any adverse impact as the number of rough sleepers had continued to decline and there had not been a significant rise in the number of applicants in bed and breakfast.  The Service Lead for Housing and Social Inclusion proposed that this was as a result of the detailed planning that had been involved to mitigate and absorb any such impact.

 

It was suggested that in addition to building low cost houses there should be a dual aspiration of improving the efficiency of houses. This was agreed and although it was acknowledged that this may raise the purchase price, it was suggested that improved efficiency would ultimately lead to long term savings for the homeowner.

 

It was clarified that the Own Home Loan Scheme was aimed predominantly at young residents struggling to afford a deposit, rather than rough sleepers. The Housing Strategy Manager reported that the scheme had proved popular with 15-20 of the allocated loans anticipated to be taken up by those meeting the criteria. It was further stated that a number of other applications had been received, for which the team were awaiting further information.

 

In response to a query the Portfolio Holder for Homes and Families clarified that the annual target of delivering a minimum of 300 affordable new homes was a Local Plan requirement. During 2018/19, 415 such homes were delivered. Whilst it was acknowledged that this was higher than the target, it was explained that for the previous three years there had been a failure to meet the target.

 

It was acknowledged that there was a lack of adequate accommodation for single applicants on the housing register. Concern was expressed by committee members in relation to the potential number of applicants housed in bed and breakfast accommodation in Slough. 

 

The Portfolio Holder for Homes and Families commented that the council was working closely with RSLs to encourage the creation of decent quality HMOs and accommodation for single applicants.

 

It was suggested that the strategy should include a target build for units with social rent, in addition to those with affordable rent. The Portfolio Holder for Homes and Families agreed to pursue inclusion of this via Local Plan discussions.

 

There was a request that the housing and homelessness KPIs be tighter and more detailed with stricter measurable targets. It was suggested that targets should be SMART. The Portfolio Holder for Homes and Families explained that the report concerned a proposed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32/19

33/19

Review of work programme pdf icon PDF 184 KB

The Committee is asked to note and review its Work Programme and to receive updates from the Lead Members of Task and Finish Groups.

 

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed its work programme.

 

·         The Chair reported that the Management Companies Task & Finish group had produced a final report which was awaiting legal sign off and would be presented to the committee at the June meeting. The Chair expressed thanks to Cllr Janet Westbrook and the team for all of the hard work that had gone into producing the report.

·         It was noted that work of the SS9 task and finish group remained suspended pending the Court of Appeal ruling.