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Agenda item

Quarterly Review of Housing Performance (Q3 2019/2020)

Minutes:

Councillor Diarmaid Ward, Executive Member for Housing and Development was present for discussion of this item

 

During consideration of the report the following main issues were raised –

 

·       39 affordable new homes have been completed so far this year, as anticipated

·       There had been delays on the Redbrick and Belfont homes, however 24 of the new the 51 new homes at Kings Square have been brought forward and are expected to be handed over in Quarter 4 2019/20 rather than the next financial year. Therefore the forecast total of new homes to be completed in 2019/21 is 63

·       89 new affordable homes have been completed by developers in Islington to date. This figure is below the figure for last year, however it is anticipated that 315 will be completed by the end of the year

·       No planning permissions were agreed for new Council housing and this is below the target set, of planning permission for 3 new homes being completed for the end of this quarter

·       There were no new homes completed this quarter and 7 Council homes were lost to Right to Buy. 27 Council homes have been lost to the Council this financial year. Therefore with a forecast build of 63 new Council homes, the net growth for the end of the financial year is currently forecast for 36 should there be no further Right to Buys in the final quarter

·       There are 34 severely overcrowded households assisted to relieve their overcrowding this quarter, giving a year total of 111 to date. This is slightly below profiled target, but better than the equivalent point last year

·       118 under – occupying households have been supported to downsize this year, including 26 in the past quarter. This is slightly below the profiled figure and the equivalent point last year

·       Housing repairs performance has continued to improve from 87% at the end of the previous quarter, to 87.4% at the end of this quarter. This is significantly better than the same point last year, which was 81.3%. Members congratulated the Executive Member and officers on this improvement

·       Partners’ repairs - these are often higher value repairs and delayed by leaseholder consultations, scaffolding works etc. Partners aim to keep the number of works exceeding 3 months to a minimum. At present 17.5% of major works have been open for 3 months

·       Rent income collection – Rent arrears have continued to slowly increase, from 3.4% of the total rent roll at the end of September 2019, to 3.6% at the end of December. This is slightly above the profiled target for this point of the year. This is a continued consequence of the switch over to Universal Credit. Tenants on Universal Credit currently account for 53% of total arrears, and around 200 tenants a month are switching to Universal Credit, so this trend is likely to continue. 72% of all tenants in rent arrears are on UC, compared to 42% who are not on UC. The switch to Universal Credit is also impacting on Partners rent collection, however the impact in their rent arrears has been smaller to date

·       Reduce homelessness – the number of households accepted as homeless is slightly below the profiled target. The current figure of 264 is above the equivalent position last year, which is expected due to the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act which slowed down the processing of cases

·       There has been an increase in the number of households in temporary accommodation since the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act. The length of stay has increased due to the Act’s requirements. However the number of households in nightly-booked accommodation has reduced from 368 at the end of June 2019 to 336 at the end of September. This is below the profiled target, and below the end of year target

·       This quarter 45 rough sleepers have been supported in to accommodation, in addition to 60 in the first half of the year. The year to date total of 105 already exceeds the annual target of 45, and above last year’s total of 60. There is now an in house team who are making significant improvements in this area

·       Noted that there is now a drop in centre for rough sleepers at Old Street

·       Reference was made to the fact that the Housing Dashboard has still not been introduced and that this is not acceptable. Councillor Ward stated that he would investigate this matter and report thereon to Members in his next Executive Member report

·       In response to a statement Councillor Ward stated that he would ensure that the meeting in relation to dampness problems at the Andover Estate, promised some time previously is arranged as soon as possible

·       Reference was made to the fact that there needed to be more temporary accommodation for disabled residents

·       In response to a question Councillor Ward stated that he felt that there was a need for intermediate housing however he would discuss the definitions of shared ownership/affordable housing and whether these needed to be amended

·       A Member referred to some Housing Associations selling off properties in the borough to fund developments outside the borough and this is not acceptable. Councillor Ward stated that the would ensure Housing Associations to ensure that if this is the case there is no net loss of social housing in the borough

 

 

RESOLVED:

(a)  That the meeting on Andover Estate dampness problems referred to above be arranged as soon as possible

(b) That the definitions of the performance indicators in relation to shared ownership and affordable housing be reviewed

(c)  That Councillor Ward be requested to investigate the current situation in relation to the introduction of the Housing Dashboard and report to a future meeting to Members

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Ward for attending

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