The Housing Policy and Intelligence Officer presented the Housing Strategy 2021-2024 report to Members. The purpose of the report was to update Members on the first draft of the Housing Strategy 2021 - 2024 with a recommendation to approve the draft to proceed with public consultation.
The Housing Policy and Intelligence Officer gave Members a presentation summarising the key strategic housing priorities of the draft. These were:
1) Key Priority 1 – Providing Good Quality Housing. Aims:
Build New Council Housing
Ensure Design and Quality to Reduce the Carbon Footprint (Council and Private)
Refurbishment/regeneration to existing Council Housing Stock
Making the best use of the Council’s Housing Stock
Quality Private Sector Housing (including Stock Condition Survey)
2) Key Priority 2 – Enabling Housing Growth. Aims:
Support Local Plan for Bolsover District/five year housing supply
Partnership working to enable housing growth
Bringing Empty Properties Back into Use (private sector)
Support Custom and Self Build
Support Gypsy and Travellers
3) Key Priority 3 – Supporting Vulnerable and Disadvantaged People. Aims:
Prevent and Relief Homelessness
Enable Supported Housing/Housing with Care for People with Physical Disability/Mental ill health/Domestic Violence/Complex Needs
Older People’s Housing Accommodation and Support
Support Care Leavers
Support Armed Forces Personnel and their Families
Disabled Facilities Grant /Home Improvements/Energy Efficiency
Councillor Tom Kirkham asked how the Housing Strategy worked in terms of Bolsover Homes providing different types of housing to meet demand. The Housing Policy and Intelligence Officer explained that the Strategy was a document to highlight overarching housing need and to show external companies what the Council was doing in terms of Housing, and a document to seek funding opportunities rather than a document to directly address housing need demand for individual sites. The Head of Property Services & Housing Repairs added that whenever a site was put forward for housing use, the officers in Housing Needs were always consulted with on how many would need to be provided.
Councillor Mary Dooley understood that disability adaptations to Council properties could take two years to be processed, and she felt efforts should be made to shorten this. The Head of Property Services & Housing Repairs explained that if a resident in a Council property had applied for a disability adaptation and they were on the waiting list, it would take significantly less time than two years to complete the work.
Councillor Mary Dooley asked how many homes were left to be fitted with new boilers from the Warm Homes Fund. The Head of Property Services & Housing Repairs stated that he would investigate the exact figure and circulate it after the meeting.
Councillor David Dixon referred to the part in the Strategy about how a Private Sector Stock Condition Survey concluded that 1,443 homes in the district of Bolsover failed the Decent Homes criteria, and asked how many of these private landlords were DASH (Decent and Safe Homes) accredited. The Housing Policy and Intelligence Officer explained that a figure was not kept, but the Council did promote the DASH standard to all private landlords.
Councillor Jim Clifton asked where Members were involved in the process of identifying a piece of land and deciding the types of houses to be built on the land, because he was aware of a case in Creswell where a garage site was set to be built on without consulting local Members. The Head of Property Services & Housing Repairs explained that at the beginning of a scheme, the relevant ward Members were consulted, and then during the design process there were Portfolio Holders on the design team meetings. He added that for that specific garage site, there was no development planned, but rather a piece of work was undertaken to identify potential sites for various types of usage. He agreed that Members could have been consulted with more on the piece of work and Housing officers would consider this in future.
It was moved by Councillor Tom Munro and seconded by Councillor Chris Kane to approve the recommendation in the report, which was to approve the first draft of the Housing Strategy 2021 – 2024 and begin the wider consultation process
RESOLVED that the Committee approves the first draft of the Housing Strategy 2021 – 2024 and beginning the wider consultation process
(Housing Policy and Intelligence Officer)