Agenda and minutes

The Economy, Housing and the Arts Policy and Accountability Committee - Tuesday, 7th July, 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Small Hall - Hammersmith Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Craig Bowdery  Tel: 020 8753 2278

Items
No. Item

8.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Connell, Fennimore and Phibbs.

 

9.

Declarations of Interest

* See note below.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Alan De’Ath declared a non-pecuniary interest as he was part of the Home Buy Scheme. He explained that he would remain in the room but not participate in this part of the discussion for agenda item 5.

 

10.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 286 KB

To approve as an accurate record, and the Chair to sign the minutes of the meeting held on 2nd June 2015

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the minutes of the meeting held on 2nd June 2015 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

11.

Election of Vice-Chair

The Committee is asked to elect a Vice-Chair for the 2015/16 municipal year

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That Cllr Lucy Ivimy be elected as Vice-Chair for the 2015/16 municipal year.

 

12.

Housing Strategy Second Phase of Consultation on the Council's Housing Allocation Scheme; Tenancy Strategy; and Home Buy Allocation Scheme Draft Documents pdf icon PDF 158 KB

To receive a report from the Lead Director for Housing outlining proposed new Council policies on:

i)          the Housing Allocation Scheme – how should council homes be allocated once they become vacant? Who should get priority?

ii)         the Tenancy Strategy – should council tenants be secure or fixed term?

iii)         Home Buy Allocation Scheme – who should get priority?

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Lisa Homan introduced a report from the Lead Director for Housing outlining proposals for new Council housing policies. She explained that at the beginning of the year, the overarching Housing Strategy was open for consultation and many comments were received. The Strategy had now been agreed and many of the comments submitted were now reflected in the subsidiary policies on housing allocation, the tenancy strategy and the Home Buy scheme. Comments on the proposals were therefore invited from councillors and members of the public, with the consultation due to end on 16th September 2015.

 

Cllr Homan explained the historical context of the proposed new policies, as prior to May 2013 there had been over 11,000 people on the housing register. Following changes made by the previous administration, over 10,000 people were removed. There were currently around 2,000 people on the list, and the new proposed policies were intended to increase this number further. However due to limited availability of housing in the Borough, only around 600 homes were being allocated each year. Given the supply could not keep up with demand, it would therefore be important to strike a fair balance to determine who was eligible for housing.

 

Officers summarised the report and outlined the key features of each proposed new policy and invited comments:

 

Housing Allocation Scheme

 

Noting the preferential weighting for residents making a defined community contribution, a member of the public asked whether this might potentially discriminate against disabled people. Officers explained that there were proposals within the policy to address this and ensure that disabled residents who met the other criteria would still be placed into Band 2. Following a public question, officers also confirmed that there was no grading of community contribution with all work (paid or voluntary) treated the same. The only exception was for members of the armed forces, who had separate provisions under national legislation. If a resident lost their job whilst on the register, then they would move down to Band 3, however if they had been allocated a home this would be a secure tenancy that was not dependent on maintaining the same circumstances. Officers also confirmed that once approved, the banding and priorities would become a statutory requirement for the Council to comply with, and as such there would not be instances of lower priority residents ‘jumping the queue’. There might however be instances when an available home is not suitable for someone on the highest Band (for example, if it were too small or large), in which case the home would be allocated to the highest ranked suitable tenant. It was noted that previously housing allocation schemes had not been the most robust in terms of ensuring priority order was adhered to, with the arrangements under Locata being highlighted.

 

Members of the public asked whether the priority bands would take into account factors such as poor or criminal behaviour. Officers explained that there would be some ability to disqualify people if there was clear evidence of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Date of the Next Meeting

It is proposed that the future meeting dates are as follows:

  • Tuesday 8th September 2015
  • Tuesday 3rd November 2015
  • Tuesday 1st December 2015
  • Tuesday 19th January 2016
  • Tuesday 8th March 2016

·         Wednesday 20th April 2016

Minutes:

The dates of future meetings were agreed as follows:

  • Tuesday 8th September 2015
  • Tuesday 3rd November 2015
  • Tuesday 1st December 2015
  • Tuesday 19th January 2016
  • Tuesday 8th March 2016

·         Wednesday 20th April 2016