Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend DA12 1AU. View directions
Contact: Committee Section
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence was received from Cllr Hayre, Cllr Mulheran and Cllr Hills (Cllr Khabra and Cllr Caller substituted).
The minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on Thursday, 02 February 2023 were signed by the Chair.
Declarations of Interest
No declarations of interest were made.
Agenda Order Change
The Chair advised that agenda item 6 would be considered at item 8 instead.
Allocations Scheme Update PDF 724 KB
The Committee received a presentation from the Service Manager (Housing Options) on the Allocations Scheme.
The presentation had been published to the website and could be accessed via the below link:
Following the presentation, the Service Manager (Housing Options) and the Service Manager (Housing Landlord Services) answered Members questions
- Band A – Critical Housing Need
- Band B – Urgent Housing Need
- Band C – Reasonable Preference
- Band D – General Housing Need
Draft Damp & Mould Policy - Council Housing PDF 210 KB
The Committee received a report which informed them of the proposed Damp, Mould and Condensation Policy and Members comments were sought prior to the policy being signed off by the Portfolio Holder, Housing Services.
The proposed policy outlined the processes when damp, mould and condensation
was reported by tenants or identified by the Council and the action that would be taken
and support that would be given to tenants to resolve the issues. It also included how
damp and mould should be reported by tenants and ensured that the process for
them to do so was straightforward. The policy also outlined what the Council did to ensure that preventative measures were in place to reduce the number of cases that were received including the introduction of an ‘Every Visit Counts’ approach which ensured all frontline officers across the Housing directorate, who carried out home visits, took responsibility for
reporting damp, mould, and condensation in the Councils homes. The Council had taken a ‘blameless’ approach to the Policy so that instead of placing blame on the tenants, the team would work with the tenants to get rid of the mould as soon as possible and offer advice on how to stop it reoccurring in the future.
Members praised the Policy and were happy to see that different types of mould were outlined for tenants and that the Council worked with all tenants regardless of how the mould had occurred.
The Chair asked that the positive feedback be taken back to the Service Manager (Housing Operations).
Corporate Performance Report: Q3 2022-23 PDF 217 KB
The Committee were presented with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as introduced within the Council’s Corporate Plan, Quarter Three 2022-23 (October to December 2022).
The Director (Housing) advised that appendix two to the report held an overview of the council’s performance against the Corporate Plan for Quarter Three 2022-23, covering the period October to December 2022.
The Director (Housing) directed Members attention to:
· PI20 – The total number of households in temporary accommodation in quarter three had increased but The Service Manager (Housing Options) and her team were working hard to mitigate the impact of the additional temporary accommodation needs. The team were looking to establish a social lettings agency in the future to alleviate the pressure of the rise in temporary accommodation.
Housing Service Progress 2019-2023 PDF 206 KB
The Director (Housing Services) introduced the report and advised that in 2019, the Council adopted an ambitious Corporate Plan following a period of consultation with residents. Within that plan, there were specific commitments in relation to Housing in the Borough and the report sought to outline to Members a summary of progress made in relation to those commitments, and how service changes and improvements have had an impact on both the Council and the community it served over the last four years.
The Director (Housing) Services) had invited several managers from Housing to attend the Committee tonight to be able to showcase some of their work and highlight key improvements to Members.
Housing Landlord Services
The Service Manager (Housing Landlord Services) highlighted several key areas of changes/improvements from the Housing Land Services Department:
· Restructure of the Sheltered Housing Team
· Introduction of Capital Project
· Review of Tenant Engagement Team
· Increased Tenant Engagement including the development of a tenant and leaseholder engagement strategy with a three-year action plan
A full list of the changes/improvements to the Housing Landlord Services department for 2019-23, their link to the Corporate Plan and the benefits of each change/improvement to the Council could be found on pages 13-15 of the report.
The Service Manager (Housing Options) highlighted several key areas of changes/ improvements from the Housing Options Department:
· Allocations Policy & introduction of Allocations Panel
· Consulted on and implemented a new staffing structure.
· Introduction of Financial penalties
· Housing Enforcement Policy review
· Introducing HMO Licence applications
· Wrotham Road Rough Sleeping Provision/Next Steps Funding
· Rough Sleeping Initiative Funding (RSI4 2021/22)
The Rough Sleeping Partnership Manager outlined further key points regarding her work with rough sleepers in the Borough:
· In 2021, the Rough Sleeping Service was evaluated, and a new multi-agency partnership was formed to ensure all needs of the vulnerable people could be addressed. The Partnership included local communities, Churches, Kent Police, House of Mercy, Job Centre, Servico Outreach Services and Northgate Mind. Additionally, there were mental health support services and a Porchlight Alcohol & drug abuse officer who worked with residents placed in the Wrotham Road Council accommodation.
· The Partnership was extremely effective and meant that all partners were giving out the same information to those that were supported ensuring there wasn’t any conflicting advice given.
A full list of the changes/improvements to the Housing Options department for 2019-23, their link to the Corporate Plan and the benefits of each change/improvement to the Council could be found on pages 21-24 of the report.
Housing Development & Enabling
The Director (Housing) highlighted several key areas of changes/improvements from the Housing Development & Enabling department:
· Creation of an Investment Partnership to help accelerate affordable house building.
· Directly developing (or currently in planning) 200 council homes across the Borough
· Formed a consortium with Elizabeth Huggins Almshouses in order to access £500,000 of Homes England funding.
A full list of the changes/improvements to the Housing Development & Enabling department for 2019-23, their link to the Corporate Plan and the benefits of each change/improvement to the ... view the full minutes text for item 14.