Housing and Strategic Planning – minutes – 22 July 2008

17 (2) AFFORDABLE HOUSING DELIVERY UPDATE – The Head of Strategic Regeneration, Housing and Development submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member of levels of affordable housing delivered during 2007/2008 and updating on current national, regional and local policy for the delivery of affordable housing.

Affordable housing included social, rented and intermediate housing, provided to specified eligible households whose needs were not met by the market. Affordable housing was delivered using two key mechanisms:

  • National, regional and local planning policies which placed a requirement for the provision of affordable housing on housing developments meeting certain minimum development levels
  • The National Affordable Housing Programme, currently administered by the Housing Corporation, which provided Housing Associations with grant funding to develop affordable housing to meet local housing needs.

Councils were responsible for enabling the provision of affordable housing using the above mechanisms and their own resources in order to meet their identified housing needs.

The report gave details of the number of affordable homes completed since 2004, along with the location of the units, the mechanism used to secure them and the type of tenure.

Targets for the delivery of affordable housing over the next three years had now been agreed, and were as follows:

  • 2008/2009 = 70 units
  • 2009/2010 = 149 units
  • 2010/2011 = 225 units (estimate)

The deliverability of the targets could be cause for concern if current issues with credit and the housing market continued. The targets would be reviewed on a regular basis and the situation with the housing markets would be monitored.

Resolved – (a) That the contents of the report be noted, and (b) that bi-annual updates on performance in this key area of work be received.

18 (3) HOMELESSNESS STRATEGY 2008-2013 – The Service Director Neighbourhood and Environment submitted a report seeking approval for a strategy preventing and reducing homelessness in North Lincolnshire.

The Homelessness Act 2002 required local housing authorities to review homelessness in their area and to produce a strategy to address the problems identified by July 2003. The Act required that strategies be revised at least once every five years.

There have been many changes since 2003, housing prices had doubled, there had been an influx of migrant workers and homelessness had peaked in 2004/05 when 601 households were accepted as being in priority need. Eighty percent of social housing lettings were made to homeless people.

The council responded by setting up a dedicated Housing Advice Team to tackle homelessness by preventing it arising where possible. The team, working in partnership with a wide range of public and voluntary sector organisations, reduced the number of homeless households in priority need to only 177 in 2007/08.

The new strategy document recorded the changes that had been implemented since 2003, it review their effectiveness and the issues that were faced by individual client groups.

Resolved – (a) That the Strategy for Preventing and Reducing Homelessness in North Lincolnshire 2008-2013 be approved, and (b) that regular reports on the implementation of the Action Plan included in the strategy be received.