Pre-Housing and Communities Committee Forum –open to all tenants and TRA representatives

Note of zoom meeting on Monday 31 January 2022

 

Present:

Cllr Diane Docherty (Housing Convenor) - chaired meeting

Frances McGonagle (Littleholm TRA + WDTRO)

Ruth Dickinson (Willox Park TA)

Mary Paton (Willox Park TA)

June Todd (WDTRO)

John Kerr (Housing Development & Homelessness Manager)

Jane Mack (Snr Development Officer-Tenant Participation)

Stefan Kristmanns (Housing Development Co-ordinator)

Laura Ann Paton (HRA Accountant)

Apologies:

Harry McCormack and Georgia McCambley

Item 7. More Homes West Dunbartonshire- West Dunbartonshire Council Affordable Housing Supply Delivery Programme.

Key Points from  Discussion

John Kerr gave update on housing developments included in the delivery plan and confirmed that Dumbarton harbour now complete. The redevelopment of Clydebank East been delayed at planning stage but Pappert site progressing well. Queens Quay progressing though some delay in relation to the access road. Have completed 300 properties in last year so good achievement.

Question asked about the demolition of the old care home at Willox Park and John will get update and feedback via Jane. Local tenants advised that the TV aerial for the current sheltered housing was situated on the roof of the old care home and John will check to ensure that arrangements are in place to have this resituated before the demolition.

Action: John Kerr to provide an update on demolition plans for old care home at Willox Park. Plus confirmation that arrangements are in place to re-site TV aerial for current sheltered housing

Item 8 West Dunbartonshire Housing Allocation Policy.

Key points from discussion

 Review of Allocation policy taken place and number of changes being proposed to  encourage tenants under-occupying homes to downsize, increase access for young people to prevent homelessness, wider review of medical priority, remove qualifying area for awarding relocation points and remove points for living in multi-storey flats. 2 stage consultation took place and views for tenants, waiting list applicants, staff and partner organisations were sought. 791 responded to initial survey and 1615 responded to the main survey on the proposed changes.

No questions asked and all happy with the proposals.

Item 9. West Dunbartonshire Local Housing Strategy 2022-27 –More Homes, Better Homes West Dunbartonshire.

Key points from discussion

The Local Housing Strategy (LHS) is an overarching strategic document on housing and housing support issues and has a key role to play in the effective integration of health and social care. The LHS sets out how the Council and its partners plan to respond to the housing and housing related opportunities and challenges over the next 5 years.

One of the key issues to come out of the consultation was about increasing publicity about energy efficiency advice.

Question asked about the Council providing energy efficient bulbs and it was confirmed that this was included as one of the rent setting options and the decision will be taken at Council meeting on 9/2/22.

Item 10. ‘Home at the Heart 2019-24 ‘ - West Dunbartonshire ‘s Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan update and new approaches to Homelessness progress report.

Key points of discussion

Plan aims to address the increase in homelessness applications, ensure sustainable housing solutions are available and reduce stays in temporary accommodation. Consequences of lock-down also resulted in delays in applicants moving into properties and slower turnover. Proposal includes increasing homeless letting target to 69% otherwise additional temporary accommodation would be needed to meet demand.

No questions raised.

Item 11. Employability Service Provision

Key points of discussion

Report outlines the development of a No one left Behind employability policy.

No questions raised.

Item 12. Housing Revenue Account Budgetary control report to 31 December 2021 (period 9)

Key points of discussion

This was a late paper only made available 27/1 so tenants only had an electronic version of the report. Concern was raised by tenants about the paper being late as was an important part of the consultation process. Finance staff confirmed that the delay had been unavoidable and due to staff absences.

Action: Jane Mack to make paper copies so tenants can still study the paper and raise any questions in future.

Laura Ann Paton ran through the financial report and confirmed that looking at a projected favourable variance of £0.008m in revenue and on Capital side, slippage of £11.076m.

Item 13. Financial report as at period 9 (31st December 2021)

Key points of discussion

Report gives update on all service areas that come under the Housing & Communities Committee remit so includes the General fund. Current forecast is for an overspend of £0.676m in relation to Homelessness and Anti-social behaviour.

Question was asked in relation to the mitigating action set out on page 150 in relation to the Housing Maintenance Trading Account which refers to reviewing scope for increased internal charges and it was asked if these charges were to the HRA and if so would that be value for money for the HRA ?

Action: Laura Ann Paton to get clarification on these internal charges.

This Forum is open to all tenants and members of Tenant & Residents Associations

Due to local elections on 5 May 2022, the housing committee dates haven’t been published and will be confirmed after the elections.

Once the dates are known, a Pre- HACC Forum will be arranged to discuss the papers with the Housing Convenor and officers who have written the papers.

The papers are available the week before and electronic copies will be sent to all TRA Secretaries, WDTRO members and via TP Facebook page.

Paper copies will also be made available as are usually a lengthy document to read on a small screen- please contact Tenant Participation to arrange for a paper copy to be delivered to you.