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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3 - Waltham Forest Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Holly Brogden-Knight, Democratic Services Officer  020 8496 4211 Email: democraticservices@walthamforest.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received and there were no substitutes.

 

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members are required to declare any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest they or their spouse/partner may have in any matter that is to be considered at this meeting.  Interests are defined in the front cover of this agenda.

Minutes:

None.

3.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 101 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 18 December 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting, held on 18 December 2018, were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

4.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Members of the public are welcome to participate in scrutiny meetings.  You may speak for three minutes on a topic related to the Committee’s work, and fifteen minutes in total is allowed for public speaking, at the discretion of the Chair.  If you would like to speak, please contact Democratic Services (details above) by 12 noon on the day before the meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

None.

5.

COMMITTEE ACTION TRACKER, UPDATE AND FORWARD PLAN pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Daniela Cabral, Scrutiny Policy Assistant, asked the Committee to note the action tracker, action update and the forward plan and explained that all actions that came out of the December meeting had been responded to.

 

6.

PROVISION OF SOCIAL HOUSING - PARTNERSHIP ENGAGEMENT WITH HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS pdf icon PDF 198 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jennifer Daothong, Assistant Director, Housing Strategy and Development, introduced the report, outlined the new Housing Compact, and introduced some of the Registered Provider (RP) partners on the Compact as it currently stood. Ms Daothong explained that the report set out the history and drivers of partner relations and described how RPs were the largest provider of affordable homes in Waltham Forest with 30 housing associations working in the borough. She further explained that with the Council’s new Housing Strategy 2019-24, Waltham Forest would be moving away from the previous procured frameworks that were in place from 2009-13 and 2014-18 as new statutory and regulatory changes had meant a procured framework would not be the most effective arrangement for working with RPs. Ms Daothong described how there had been extensive consultation and collaborative working with RPs to come to the Housing Compact, which will be a mixed economy of supply and management approach, and stated that working successfully with RPs on shared priorities was a key part of delivering the new Housing Strategy. The Housing Compact had been developed as part of the new Housing Strategy and as such would go to Cabinet for approval in March 2019.

 

Ms Daothong also explained that there was a piece of ongoing work around the August 2018 Government Housing Green Paper ‘A new deal for social housing’, which had placed a focus on listening to residents of social and affordable housing concerns. Also discussed was the November 2018 G15 offer to London, “Tackling the housing crisis together”, which was reflected in the RP Compact and represented a renewed commitment from some of the Borough’s largest RP landlords to work together and share challenges.


The four representatives from the Housing Associations present then introduced themselves and gave an overview of their association, their housing stock and their current work in Waltham Forest, including environmental and social projects. They also stated that they supported the Compact and were looking forward to working with the Council, to provide good quality and well managed affordable housing to meet a variety of housing needs, and welcomed discussions on how to work closer together to ensure better outcomes for residents.
 

Councillor Simon Miller, Portfolio Lead Member for Economic Growth and High Streets, described how the Housing Compact would be the vehicle to help deliver on the Councils ambition of ensuring a ‘decent roof over residents’ heads’ and was therefore extremely important. He stated that the Compact recognised how much of a challenge the issues around housing were and emphasised the importance of efficient partnerships to achieve the Councils ambitions.

 

The Committee asked how the new Housing Compact would support Waltham Forest’s target delivery of 1800 new homes per year. Ms Daothong stated that one of the main challenges that Waltham Forest was facing, as well as typical issues such as supply and costs, was increasing capacity challenges in the building sector. She explained that the Housing Compact would create a partnership and forum to share knowledge and resources and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

HOUSING STRATEGY - DRAFT DOCUMENT pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Simon Miller introduced the report which covered the draft Housing Strategy that was going to Cabinet in March 2019. Councillor Miller discussed how the strategy had been widely shared and consulted on and that its ambition was to be transparent on both the challenges and how Waltham Forest, as a forward-thinking Council, planned to tackle the issues, such as homelessness and increasing housing stock. Councillor Miller gave an update on the strategy consultation and explained how it linked to other strategic programmes, such as Think Family and Think Work. In terms of the strategy’s approach, Councillor Miller outlined its four key objectives:

·         Supporting growth and aspirations within the borough

·    Tackling and preventing homelessness

·         Ensuring decent, safe and healthy homes

·    Think Family Think Housing Think Work: Inclusive and sustainable neighbourhoods

 

Ms Daothong then gave a presentation to the Committee that covered how the new Housing Strategy would fulfil statutory obligations and refresh the Council’s approach to housing and also set out how Waltham Forest intended to respond to the consultation results. Ms Daothong discussed how the consultation had included an online survey, which had 1504 responses, a residents’ day, a number of focus groups, the Strategic Tenants and Residents (STAR) Panel and had had input from the youth takeover.

 

Ms Daothong described issues that had come up during consultation and explained that it had been made clear that residents wanted greater clarity and information on 60Bricks, community led housing and a focus on dealing with empty properties and on truly affordable housing. From these consultations, more information and a case study on community led housing had been added to the strategy, and an expanded glossary that covered all unfamiliar terms around housing had been created.

 

The consultation had also shown that younger residents wanted more accessible advice and from this there was ongoing work with the Families and Homes directorate to create this advice and also to work on prioritising care leavers’ social housing.

 

Ms Daothong reflected on the opportunity the new housing repairs contract could bring and its link to the Think Work priority. She explained that there was a commitment to training, creating apprenticeships and to providing local people with access to work placements.

 

It was explained that the strategy had also had extensive consultation with members and that the feedback received, such as the importance of working with private developers and the need to make the document accessible, had been taken on board and incorporated into the strategy. The next steps were to go for approval at Cabinet in March with the intention of launching the strategy in around June 2019, to tie in with the 100 years of Council housing celebrations.

 

The Committee thanked Ms Daothong for the presentation and raised questions relating to selective licensing. Ms Daothong explained that selective licensing was covered in the draft and David Beach, Head of Regulatory Services, described how the Council were 4/5ths of the way through the current scheme which was due to end in 2020 and explained  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.