Agenda item

Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2017-21

Report of Executive Member for Growth, Gordon Bambridge.

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Growth presented the report.

 

Councillor Crawford felt the emphasis had been taken off social housing and asked who would be responsible for the residents who were on low income and low cost rented housing.  The Strategic Housing Manager said that the authority’s focus was to ensure that a broad range of housing tenures would be provided locally, and that officers are working with local housing associations to increase the type of housing they supply. 

Councillor Crawford asked how Breckland would supply the housing if the emphasis had moved to the right to buy and was concerned about those that could not afford their own home.

 

The Executive Member felt the answer to this was encompassed under Priority One: Preventing Homelessness.

 

Councillor Robinson was pleased to see strong partnership working across local authorities providing support to victims of domestic abuse.  Although he felt that moving the victims to a safe haven sometimes removed support systems that were available for the individual such as allowing children to continue their education. 

 

Councillor Claussen said it was a good report but queried the preventing Homelessness indicator in the Performance Report as in the past he had seen data that provided information on the amount of spend on Bed and Breakfast.  The Executive Manager for Place said that data was still available and would feed this into the performance report in future.

 

Councillor Webb asked how often the Gypsy and Traveller assessment needs was carried out.  It was confirmed this was completed every 2 years.

 

Councillor Martin informed Members that there was a building in Attleborough which had been boarded up and was a disgrace, but would provide additional housing needs if required.  The Strategic Housing Manager said he was working with the owner of the building to determine the best level of housing to use.

 

The Chairman asked for more information to be added under the fourth bullet point in Priority Three: Supporting Housing Growth to allow investigation of initiatives. He also asked how the Housing Strategy linked with the Planning Policy, especially as it is mentioned there was a commitment to support initiatives that promoted growth of custom and self-build housing across the district.  He felt there could be a challenge if the policies were not aligned.

 

The Executive Member for Growth had made a note of the items and both were being actively considered.

 

The Chairman was concerned that it was a strategy document and considered if the item should be deferred until the amendments had taken place.

 

The Chief Executive said she was in discussions with the new Director of Capita on the planning policy and the plans for growth strategy.  It was suggested that the fourth bullet point be amended to add ‘new initiatives such as a housing ladder’ be added which would allow the framework to carry out investigations.  The Chairman was happy with this approach.

 

Options

1)     Do Nothing (not recommended).  Under this option, the document will not be adopted by the authority.

 

2)     That Cabinet considers the Breckland Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2017-21 for adoption (recommended option).  Under this option, the strategy will be adopted by the authority.

 

Reasons

To enable the Breckland Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2017-21 to be adopted by the authority.

 

It was RESOLVED that Cabinet adopts the Breckland Housing and Homelessness Strategy for 2017-21.

Supporting documents: