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Agenda item

Quarterly Review of Housing Performance ( Q2- 2020/2021)

Minutes:

Councillor Diarmaid Ward, Executive Member Housing was present and outlined the report

 

During consideration of the report the following main points were made

 

·       Members were informed that unfortunately 19 properties had been lost to social housing under Right to Buy, and that it was hoped that Right to Buy would be ended by this or a future Government. However, it was noted that the number of genuinely affordable new homes completed by developers was above target

·       The number of overcrowded families assisted is also below target, and this was partly due to the challenges of moving people during lockdown

·       LBI first time fix repairs had gone up to 92%, however this is partly due to the prioritisation of emergency repairs during lockdown, and these have a higher first time fix rate than the average repair. A Member stated that he welcomed this and lessons should be learnt

·       Major works by Partners indicator is on target, but below the target of 15%, and the performance at the same time last year

·       Rent arrears had increased to 4.5% due to COVID, and the Council were trying to assist residents as much as possible

·       Noted 78 street homeless had been supported into accommodation, and it hoped to build on this work. Additional monies had been provided by the Government, however this may not be sufficient

·       A Member referred to the problems with EWS 1 forms, and that this needed to be resolved, as residents had been unable to get mortgage approval without these forms. It was stated that there were limited professionals who were able to complete EWS1forms, however some mortgage lenders were accepting information from the Council, although this varied amongst mortgage lenders. The Government needed to resolve the situation, and work is taking place with local M.P.’s to lobby the Government in this regard. However, if residents were experiencing problems they could contact the Council for advice. The Chair stated that Inside Housing were looking at a campaign on this issue, and the Executive Member stated that he would investigate this

·       Reference was also made to the letter sent out to tenants in relation to water bills, and that this had not been acceptable. The Executive Member stated that the letter had been sent without him approving it and apologised for this, however he stated that a new letter would be sent to tenants explaining the situation. This had arisen as a result of Court ruling stating that water bill charges must be sent separately from Thames Water in future, and not included on tenants rent charges. He added that the new letter would include a section on frequently asked questions, and a better communications strategy would be put in place. However, Council tenants would not have to pay additional charges at present, but he could not rule out that Thames Water would not increase their charges in future, however any increase would not be due to the Council

·       Reference was made to whether waste water conservation could be considered for tenants, and the Executive Member stated that he would investigate this possibility

·       In response to a statement, that the visit promised to Brewery Road to view the dashboard had not taken place, it was stated that the Executive Member would look into arranging a Zoom visit in the near future

·       The Chair stated that he had seen a report on completion of complex repairs, and that this had shown that the Council had performed well in this regard, and that consideration should be given to publicising this

·       The Chair also referred to the fact that the Committee would be considering the loss of social housing in relation to Housing Associations in the borough at a future meeting/s

·       Reference was made to which future KPI’s should be submitted to the Committee, and it was stated that the Executive Member would welcome any suggestions in this regard

 

 

 

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted and Councillor Ward be requested to arrange a Zoom meeting to view the Dashboard at Brewery Road

 

 

 

 

         The Chair thanked Councillor Ward for attending

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