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Update on New Build Council Housing Delivery

Meeting: 21/06/2022 - Housing Scrutiny Committee (Item 32)

32 Update on New Build Council Housing Delivery pdf icon PDF 864 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This item was chaired by Councillor Thittala Varkey (Chair)

 

Matter for Decision

The report provided an update on the housing development programme.

 

Decision of Executive Councillor for Housing

i.  Noted the continued progress on the delivery of the approved housing programme.

ii.  Noted forthcoming work on consultation with residents.

iii.  Agreed the adoption of a blended rent policy (to include more social rent but some higher rents at 80% of median market rents inclusive of Service Charge) across the new 1,000 homes programme, as required, when delivering homes with grant above the minimum planning requirement of 40% of units on any site.

iv.  Delegated authority to the Strategic Director to update the HRA Rent Setting Policy in accordance with recommendation iii above.

v.  Approved the start on site of currently approved schemes that have planning permission at risk in relation to grant, to mitigate the risk of build cost increase.

vi.  Approved the rent level changes to the specific schemes outlined in this report, including the addition of 45 homes at L2, with 30 homes to be let at Social Rent and 45 homes to be let at 80% of market rent.

vii.  Approved a budget of £11,520,000.00 for the purchase as a package deal of the private sale units at L2 Orchard Park into the Council's HRA stock, to be let at 80% of median market rent.

viii.  Approved changes to the Budgets for Fen Road, Ditton Walk and Borrowdale as outlined in part 8.5.3, with the revised budgets to be incorporated as part of the HRA MTFS in September 2022.

ix.  Authorised the Section 151 Officer to enter into a Grant Agreement with Homes England for the 21-26 Homes England Affordable Homes Programme for Continuous Market Engagement.

x.  Approved the principle that units to be let at 80% of market rent be targeted at key workers OR the intermediate rental market, (ie those who are assessed as being on incomes sufficient to be able to afford 80% of market rent), and governed by local lettings plans.

xi.  Approved that as part of our Housing Strategy development work the Head of Housing has delegated authority to agree (subject to consultation with the Executive Councillor) a definition of key worker.

xii.  Agreed that the Council works with South Cambridgeshire DC to try and jointly agree the definition of key worker.

 

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 Head of the Housing Development Agency. An updated table to that detailed in paragraph 8.2.4 of the report had been circulated to members at the meeting, a copy was also published on the meeting webpage after the meeting.

 

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

  i.  Welcomed a ‘key worker’ definition in relation to housing policies.

  ii.  Expressed disappointment with a loose commitment regarding passivhaus development.

 

The Executive Councillor welcomed homes for key workers.

 

The Head of Housing said that City Council Officers would work with colleagues from South Cambridgeshire District Council to try and agree a definition of ‘key worker’.

 

The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.

 

The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.

 

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

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.