Housing and Strategic Planning Cabinet Member – Minutes – 7 February 2011
72 (18) CHARGING FOR DISCRETIONARY HOUSING INSPECTIONS RELATED TO VISA APPLICATIONS – The Service Director Neighbourhood and Environment submitted a report seeking permission for full cost recovery for discretionary housing inspections related to visa applications.
The Service Director explained that every year the housing service was asked to carry out a number of inspections of residential accommodation for immigration purposes. This was a discretionary service which the council offered and it did not form part of its statutory housing duties.
When a UK resident asked for a relative from a country not within the EU to either come to this country permanently or for a specified period of time they had to obtain a visa.As part of the visa application, they were required to obtain confirmation that the address that the applicant would be living at was suitable for their occupation, both with regards to the number of people living there, the number it could reasonably accommodate and assurance that the property was safe and healthy to live in.This service had been provided by North Lincolnshire Council since 1996.
The charge was increased annually by the Council in line with inflation and it was proposed to introduce the revised charge, outlined within the report, with effect from the 1 April 2011. This would allow time to inform local community groups that may be affected by the revised charges.
Resolved – (a) That the proposal to increase the charges outlined within the report to ensure full cost recovery for this service be approved, and (b) that the increases would commence as from 1 April 2011.
The Humber Housing Strategy 2010 – 2015 had set out the over-riding housing priorities for the Humber region.Following the adoption of the sub-regional strategy, a local Strategic Housing Implementation Plan was developed and approved by the Cabinet Member in August 2010 setting out the local housing priorities for North Lincolnshire.
Consultation with partners and colleagues within the Council had suggested the need for one Integrated Housing Strategy to clearly show the priorities for housing and to simplify monitoring and reporting. The mandate to create an Integrated Housing Strategy had been approved by the Housing Managers meeting and the Housing Board.
Resolved – That the creation of one Integrated Housing Strategy and action plan be approved.