Skip to content

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Ola Adeoye  020 7527 3044

Items
No. Item

27.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Graham.

28.

Declaration of Substitute Members

Minutes:

There were no declarations of substitute members.

29.

Declarations of Interests

If you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest* in an item of business:

§  if it is not yet on the council’s register, you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent;

§  you may choose to declare a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest that is already in the register in the interests of openness and transparency. 

In both the above cases, you must leave the room without participating in discussion of the item.

 

If you have a personal interest in an item of business and you intend to speak or vote on the item you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent but you may participate in the discussion and vote on the item.

 

*(a)   Employment, etc - Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

(b) Sponsorship - Any payment or other financial benefit in respect of your expenses in carrying out duties as a member, or of your election; including from a trade union.

(c) Contracts - Any current contract for goods, services or works, between you or your partner (or a body in which one of you has a beneficial interest) and the council.

(d) Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.

(e) Licences- Any licence to occupy land in the council’s area for a month or longer.

(f) Corporate tenancies - Any tenancy between the council and a body in which you or your partner have a beneficial interest.

 (g) Securities - Any beneficial interest in securities of a body which has a place of business or land in the council’s area, if the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body or of any one class of its issued share capital. 

 

This applies to all members present at the meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

30.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 6 February 2024 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

31.

Chair's Report

Minutes:

Chair informed meeting that an additional committee meeting has been scheduled for

30 April to consider and agree draft recommendations on the New Build Homes.

 

Meeting was advised that following evening’s session with evidence from the two

external witnesses, he will be meeting with Vice Chair and housing officers to draft

recommendations on Monday 22 April which will be circulated to committee members

ahead of the meeting of 30 April for member input/feedback.

 

32.

External Attendees (if any)

Minutes:

Chair informed meeting that he invited representatives of the Parkview TRA to share their experiences and challenges regarding the New Build programme.

 

33.

Order of Business

Minutes:

The order of business would be as per the agenda.

34.

Public Questions

For members of the public to ask questions relating to any subject on the meeting agenda under Procedure Rule 70.5. Alternatively, the Chair may opt to accept questions from the public during the discussion on each agenda item.

 

Minutes:

None

35.

Main Scrutiny Review 2023/24 -New Homes Build in Islington: - Witness evidence -Presentations

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 Committee received a presentation from Rachel Bagenal, Assistant Director,

Housing Regeneration & Delivery of Hackney Council. The following issues were

highlighted -

       Hackney is one of the first councils to start building its own council homes and  via the Estate Regeneration Programme (ERP) which started in 2011, Housing Supply Programme (HSP) in 2016 and the New Homes Programme (NHP) in 2024

       By April 2018, 660 new and refurbished homes had been completed, which were mostly estate regeneration schemes.

       Between May 2018 and May 2022, the Council started, completed or received planning permission for 1,984 homes.

       Hackney Council employs the Direct delivery model, with its Design &Build model and inhouse sales team, plus some development agreements

       Council has established a skilled inhouse delivery team along with the infrastructure to deliver.

       Hackney Council aims to deliver high quality mixed tenure developments including homes for social rent, shared ownership and outright sale alongside a range of non-residential uses, public realm improvements and socio-economic outputs.

       Council builds additional, high-quality homes within existing estates by building on underused land, typically car parks, garages and depots.

       Hackney’s commitments to residents to home delivery is that it will be Council led, not for profit and that it uses council land and working together with its residents. Also that its priority is that council tenants are given priority for all new builds.

       During the period, 2018 - 2022, the Council had a target of 1,984 homes, 956 of which were affordable ( social rent and shared ownership)

       In addition to the above, its current manifesto target is to deliver 1,000 new social rent homes over the period of 2022 – 2026.

       In terms of new Social Rent homes, meeting was advised that Hackney’s  current and new sites building programmes are contributing 568 Social Rent homes toward this target.

       3,400 homes have now been built across more than 30 sites, that its ERP, HSP & NHP is a mix of large and small sites and includes estate regeneration, infill and brownfield sites.

       It was noted that in terms of social rent housing, shared ownership and outright sale have been used to fund it.

       Council endeavours to ensure that Hackney Council employs a self-funding approach to its portfolio, that the ERP and HSP provides 50% affordable and NHP programme 75% social rent.

       In December 2022 Cabinet approved the New Homes Programme (NHP) and a key plank in the ‘1,000 new Council homes for social rent’ target

       In terms of Resident participatory design, meeting was reminded that this results in surrounding improvements and alignment with capital works in existing homes.

       Hackney Council’s approach is to deliver well designed, high quality homes that support attractive, functional, safe and sustainable neighbourhoods, places where people want to live and that make a positive contribution to the Borough so the aim is to build characterful, cost effective, robust and well-loved homes that age well and stand the test of time.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Islington Council New Build Programme Finances pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Minutes:

Committee received a presentation from Nick Stylianou. Assistant Director Homes, Neighbourhoods and Public Health on the New Build budget, funding and challenges. The following points were highlighted:

·       Meeting was advised that a significant of funding of new build programme goes towards cost of new build schemes ( which consists of construction cost, fees, on-costs for marketing and CIL and risks and contingency).

·       In addition to above, funding goes towards ongoing costs for repairs and maintenance, major works, management and capital financing/debt repayments.

·       Sources of funding for new build homes include PWLB borrowing, Right To Buy 1-4-1 receipts, CIL/S106 and open market sales, of which the first two provides between 85-90% of funds.

·       Ongoing income received such as rental income funds ongoing costs and potential future sales/staircasing of shared ownership.

·       Rents over the last few years have been capped for a number of years and with inflation and high construction cost it has been challenging.

·       It was noted that cost of borrowing has increased, for example the Public Loan Works Board (PWLB) 40 year maturity rate rose from 2.06% to 5.49% between December 2021 to November 2023. Meeting was advised that in terms of HRA concession, 40bp discount although ends in 2025 which is to e welcomed it is too soon for many of the projects in the pipeline.

·       Other restrictions include the RTB receipts for example for the spring budget, although Council can use receipts to fund up to 50% of eligible spend incurred, resources are finite. However from 2024/25 Municipal year Treasury will keep 20-25% of receipts.

·       There are restrictions on using RTB receipts with other external funding (GLA grant/DLUHC grant).

·       Viability issues hinders building new homes as government rent caps impact ability to fund future debt, management and maintenance.

·       It should be noted that the requirement to subsidise new build borrowing is to the detriment of Major works/Decent Homes.

·       Despite challenges, Islington Council is committed to delivering new homes, The current programme is delivering 162 Homes (including shared ownership) and the existing and new pipe line the council has a target of 750 new social rented homes.

·       In light of the current financial challenges, that over the last 12 months the Council has conducted a comprehensive review of its New Homes programme, reallocating constrained funds on most viable schemes and ensuring that it continues to build new affordable homes to meet council target.

·       Major pipeline schemes such as the Finsbury Leisure Centre, Bemberton South and Vorley Road, of which £118.08m has been allocated and the additional OMS units, there will be £118.608m short borrowing until sales complete.

·       Meeting was advised that there is a budget of £20.2m to bring various schemes to planning and funded from HRA reserves.

·       Meeting was reminded of the challenges to delivering new affordable homes and includes complexity of schemes (planning and building restrictions in Islington, availability of land and site access);challenging legislative issues( fire and building safety); impact of depressed housing market (with reduced private sales values and falling demand); inflationary pressure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.

37.

Housing Performance Annual Report from Executive Member pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Minutes:

Item was deferred to the next meeting on 30 April. Executive Member Cllr O’Halloran suggested questions could be sent ahead of the meeting.

38.

Quarterly Review of Housing Performance (Q3 2023/24) pdf icon PDF 331 KB

Minutes:

 

Committee received the Quarter 3 Performance Report from the Corporate Director, Homes and Neighbourhood. The following Points were highlighted -

·       Islington has significantly fewer people in temporary accommodation (11 per 1,000) compared to London (17 per 1,000). England has 5 per 1,000 households in temporary accommodation.

·       Based on the most recent benchmarking and the increase in demand, Islington Council’s overall performance in managing temporary accommodation is excellent. However, further reductions in the use of private sector properties are urgently needed going forward and we should not be complacent. The council has set a stretching target to eliminate the use of expensive nightly paid temporary accommodation to provide greater security for our homeless residents. The team are continuing to work to discharge ineligible households as quickly as possible, to bring the number down further.

·       The Bureau of Investigative Journalism identified that there are no Private Rented Sector rents in Islington set at or below the Local Housing Allowance. Therefore, it is not possible to prevent homelessness into the or from the Private Rented sector. Across London Private Rented sector rents have increased by 12% in the last 12 months and the number of Private Rented Sector properties have reduced by 41% since the end of the pandemic. 

·       In terms of Tenant Satisfaction Measures, meeting was advised that all measures are satisfactory except with lift maintenance which was caused by issues with the contractor.

·       Corporate Director informed meeting that Council has been notified informally that the Housing Ombudsman Paragraph 49 Investigation has been discharged, that this is welcome news and a testimony of the amount of work undertaken by both officers and members to address all the issues raised.

·       In light of the shortage of properties in the borough to accommodate homeless persons/families, the Council has had to find suitable properties outside of the borough such as Haringay and Barnet.

·       With regard to a request for a cost breakdown which the Council has incurred regarding legal disrepair and complaints to the Housing Ombudsman, the Corporate Director advised that this will be shared by Committee members.


RESOLVED:

That the Quarter 3 Performance report be noted.



 




39.

Communal Heating - 12 Month Report back pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Minutes:

Committee received a 12 month report back on the progress of the recommendations from the review exercise on Islington’s Communal Heating by Assistant Director Property Services - Capital Programme Delivery Homes and Neighbourhoods.

·       The meeting was advised of minimal breakdown of communal boilers with the installation of remote meters which enables officers monitor when a boiler is experiencing issues. The Service is more proactive and most breakdowns are resolved quickly on the same day or within 24 hours.

·       In response to a question on the possibility of resetting the boiler remotely, the Assistant Director advised that experts agree that for safety reasons it is better for an engineer visit first to establish the cause of shut down before boiler is rebooted. At present BMS allows the timing and temperature on the boiler to be done remotely.

·       On the issue of flexibility of timings with regards to the vulnerable and elderly residents, the meeting was advised that this is presently out for consultation.

·       On the question of compensation paid to residents, meeting was advised that future contracts will ensure that this is recovered from contractors.

RESOLVED:
That the report back be noted.

 

 




40.

Housing Briefing on DAHA Accreditation pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Minutes:

Meeting was advised that the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance’s (DAHA) mission is to improve the housing sector’s response to domestic abuse through the introduction and adoption of an established set of standards and an accreditation process.

·       It was noted that Housing Operations started working towards the DAHA assessment in June 2022, with the aim of achieving DAHA accreditation by December 2023. H&C were accredited in 2021 for the whole of housing operations.

·       Meeting was advised that the aim of the DAHA accreditation is to achieve a cultural shift in response to domestic abuse survivors, and perpetrators, which is aligned with the DAHA principles and values, LBI CARE values and VAWG strategy.

 

·       Islington Council aims to develop a flexible approach to enable people experiencing domestic abuse to access homelessness and tenancy services through multiple avenues.

 

·       With the accreditation, it ensures that Islington Council make the right response the first time to disclosures of domestic abuse and amplify the survivor’s voice.

 

·       It is a national programme of accreditation for social landlords, sets the standard for how LGA’s should respond to domestic abuse. It is the only project in the UK offering a domestic abuse accreditation for the housing sector.

 

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted

41.

Work Programme 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 35 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:
That the work programme be noted.