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Decision details

Interim Housing Strategy Statement 2017

Decision Maker: Executive Councillor for Housing

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

To agree the Council's vision and strategic direction in relation to housing.

Decision:

This Item was chaired by Councillor Todd-Jones

 

Matter for Decision

The report sought approval for an Interim Housing Strategy Statement for Cambridge, prior to development of a proposed joint Housing Strategy for Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils. In particular it sought approval for a vision for housing in the City, and a set of strategic aims to help achieve the proposed vision.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

  i.  Approved the aspirational vision laid out in the draft Interim Housing Strategy Statement 2017 (attached as Appendix A to the Officer’s report), for Cambridge to be a City where:

 

a)  The housing market functions effectively, providing homes which are as affordable as possible; to meet the needs of residents and support the local economy;

 

b)  There is a wide and varied choice of good quality, sustainable homes of different sizes, types and tenures, to meet the needs of a wide range of different households;

 

c)  Homes are located in high quality sustainable environments, served by jobs and neighbourhood facilities, appropriate green space, effective transport links and other necessary infrastructure;

 

d)  Everyone has access to a suitable home, and residents are able to live as healthily, safely, independently as possible;

 

e)  People from all walks of life live in harmony, within mixed and balanced communities; and homes and communities continue to meet the needs of residents into the future;

 

f)  We have strong relationships with residents, developers and partners that enable us to deliver housing and services effectively, and to innovate where appropriate.

 

  ii.  Approved the strategic aims laid out in the draft Interim Housing Strategy Statement 2017 (attached as Appendix A to the Officer’s report) as follows:

 

a)  Work with stakeholders to accelerate the delivery of housing and infrastructure in and around Cambridge as set out in the Greater Cambridge City Deal and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Devolution Deal;

 

b)  Provide, and promote provision of, good quality, energy and water efficient homes, in high quality, sustainable environments, alongside appropriate infrastructure;

 

c)  Ensure that new homes: are as affordable as possible; are available in a range of sizes, types and tenures, to meet a range of needs; and can support mixed, balanced and sustainable communities;

 

d)  Make the best use of council land to maximise the supply of housing for those who cannot afford to access the private market;

 

e)  Make and promote the best use of existing homes;

 

f)  Enable people to live settled lives, within safe and healthy homes and communities;

 

g)  Manage and maintain the council’s homes and estates in a cost-effective way, protecting core services, balancing the budget, and operating within our means;

 

h)  Promote a well-regulated, fair, good quality private rented sector, and support the provision of longer and more settled tenancies;

 

i)  Recognise links between health, social care & housing, and work positively with partner organisations to promote and improve quality of life and health and well-being for those most in need; 

 

j)  Prevent homelessness and rough sleeping;

 

k)  Minimise use of temporary accommodation and maximise access to longer term housing solutions;

 

l)  Enable people to make informed choices about their housing;

 

m)  Promote sustained and settled lifestyles and minimise social exclusion.

 

  iii.  Noted the ongoing and emerging actions being pursued with partners to achieve the vision and strategic aims proposed in the Interim Housing Strategy Statement, attached as Appendix A to the Officer’s report.

 

Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.

 

Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.

 

Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Housing Strategy Manager.

 

The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Suggested that the report was aspirational but lacked tangible targets.

  ii.  Welcomed the vision within the documents.

 

The Strategic Director and the Housing Strategy Manager stated the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The report was intentionally an aspirational framework pulling together various work strands. Subsequent reports would provide the measurable detail.

  ii.  Any significant changes would be brought back to this committee for discussion.

  iii.  The Strategy was an interim measure  prior to more detail emerging around government policy, and Cambridge City & South Cambridgeshire District Councils developing a joint Housing Strategy. Confirmed that other social housing providers also offered intermediate and other, below market price, housing products.

  iv.  Both the needs of older people, and those of younger people with disabilities, were included in the recommendations.

  v.  Expressed support for the continued delivery of support for the vulnerable to allowed them to live as independently as possible.

 

Diane Best requested a correction as following, struck through replaced with bold:

 

In terms of issues relating to council housing, tenant and leasehold representatives scrutinise both services and key decisions: as service inspectors; through a Housing Regulation Panel; and as members of the council’s Housing Management Boardthrough a Housing Regulation Panel; and as representatives on the council’s Housing Scrutiny Committee.

 

This was agreed nem com.

 

Councillor Holland sought clarification on the provision of housing for older people. She asked if recommendations from a recent Local Government Association paper on housing had been addressed by this report.

 

Alan Carter responded and stated that the City Council was delivering housing for the over 50s within general needs housing stock with the aim of offering an attractive alternative that would tempt downsizing from family housing. This approach was recommended by the Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) report.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendation.

 

Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

 

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.

 

Publication date: 08/08/2017

Date of decision: 07/03/2017