Agenda for Housing Committee on Wednesday, 17th March, 2021, 4.00pm

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Agenda and decisions

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Contact: Shaun Hughes  Democratic Services Officer

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Items
No. Item

139.

Procedural Business

    (a)  Declaration of Substitutes: Where Councillors are unable to attend a meeting, a substitute Member from the same Political Group may attend, speak and vote in their place for that meeting.

     

    (b)  Declarations of Interest:

     

    (a)      Disclosable pecuniary interests;

    (b)      Any other interests required to be registered under the local code;

    (c)      Any other general interest as a result of which a decision on the matter might reasonably be regarded as affecting you or a partner more than a majority of other people or businesses in the ward/s affected by the decision.

     

    In each case, you need to declare

    (i)        the item on the agenda the interest relates to;

    (ii)      the nature of the interest; and

    (iii)     whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest or some other interest.

     

    If unsure, Members should seek advice from the committee lawyer or administrator preferably before the meeting.

     

    (c)  Exclusion of Press and Public - To consider whether, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted, or the nature of the proceedings, the press and public should be excluded from the meeting when any of the following items are under consideration.

     

    NOTE: Any item appearing in Part Two of the Agenda states in its heading the category under which the information disclosed in the report is exempt from disclosure and therefore not available to the public.

     

    A list and description of the exempt categories is available for public inspection at Brighton and Hove Town Halls.

     

    Additional documents:

140.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 387 KB

    • View item 140. as HTML 164 KB

    To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2021 (copy attached).

     

    Additional documents:

141.

Chairs Communications

    Additional documents:

142.

Call Over

    (a)          Items (x – x) will be read out at the meeting and Members invited to reserve the items for consideration.

     

    (b)          Those items not reserved will be taken as having been received and the reports’ recommendations agreed.

     

    Additional documents:

143.

Public Involvement pdf icon PDF 107 KB

    • View item 143. as HTML 19 KB

    To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:

     

    (a)       Petitions: to receive any petitions presented to the full council or at the meeting itself;

     

    (b)      Written Questions: to receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 11 March 2021;

     

    (c)    Deputations: to receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 11 March 2021.

     

    Additional documents:

144.

Issues Raised by Members

    To consider the following matters raised by councillors:

     

    (a)      Petitions: to receive any petitions submitted to the full Council or at the meeting itself;

     

    (b)      Written Questions: to consider any written questions;

     

    (c)      Letters: to consider any letters;

     

    (d)    Notices of Motion: to consider any Notices of Motion referred from Council or submitted directly to the Committee.

     

    Additional documents:

145.

Tenant and Leaseholder Engagement Strategy pdf icon PDF 360 KB

146.

Next steps - Rough Sleeping and Accommodation during COVID-19 Pandemic and Recovery pdf icon PDF 464 KB

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    146.1  The Assistant Director of Housing introduced the report to the committee.

     

    146.2  Councillor Atkinson was informed that the Homeless Reduction Board (HRB) have had a number of meetings and the minutes of the meetings can be made available to Members. Although it is hard to move people on, this is continuing. Reconnecting people is a lengthy process and mediation services are being used to assist. A sub regional approach has been used with regard to other cities and only those with a duty are linked to the city. There are no clear numbers on the loss of private rented accommodation and landlords are being asked to talk to the council before the pandemic restrictions are lifted. It was noted that the Homeless Bill of Rights is aspirational.

     

    146.3  Councillor Williams extended a vote of gratitude to Emily Ashmore and Jenny Knight for their outstanding work and was sorry to see them leave.

     

    146.4  Councillor Mears was informed that the officer correction had occurred as there had been a misunderstanding with the legal team. It was noted that the Homeless Reduction Board will report back to the Housing committee and are not a decision making body. The councillor expressed concerns at the amendments to the recommendations and considered the original recommendations to be suitable and there was no need for the amendments.

     

    146.5  Councillor Appich was informed that some houses of multiple occupancy (HMO) have been used to accommodate homeless people. It was noted that those being placed in HMOs were also being given support. The HRB action plan is being developed and will come to the Housing committee every six months (approximately) for the committee to agree the actions.

     

    146.6  Councillor Gibson considered the work by officers to be amazing and considered the strategy should be fully operational by June 2021. It was noted that although many people were moving on, more were arriving in the city and prevention should proceed as soon as possible. The councillor was informed that the customer facing services were on the corporate road map to be reintroduced as soon as possible ahead of the end of lockdown restrictions. The councillor noted that the HRB were not a decision making body and will report to the Housing committee.

     

    146.7  Councillor Williams proposed and introduced the amendments and stated that they considered the amendments to strengthen the recommendations.

     

    146.8  Councillor Gibson seconded the amendments and asked the committee to support the amendments.

     

    146.9  The Chair invited the committee to vote on the amendments which were agreed by a majority with 2 abstentions.

    146.10

              The Chair invited the committee to vote on the recommendations as amended and they were agreed by a majority with 2 abstentions.

     

    146.11         

    RESOVLED: That the Housing Committee:

     

    2.1      That Housing Committee note the progress to date.

     

    2.2      That Housing Committee note the continued role of the Homeless Reduction Board in monitoring progress on meeting the conditions of NSAP funding and next steps.

     

    2.3      That Housing Committee note the move on projections outlined in the report for those clients covered by Next Steps Accommodation Funding (Covid-1 in the report) and the continued emergency accommodation requirements for this

    cohort beyond 31st March 2021.

     

    2.4      That Housing Committee note the move on projections for those assessed as at risk of rough sleeping who we have continued to accommodate (Covid-2 in the report) and the ongoing emergency accommodation requirements of those we have housed during the on-going pandemic into the new (2021-22) financial year.

     

    2.5      That Housing Committee agree that by 21st June 2021, the accommodation offer to those assessed as at risk of rough sleeping made for the duration of the pandemic (Covid-2 in the report) is ended where no accommodation duty is owed by the council as outlined in paragraphs 3.11 – 3.13. This to be reviewed if there is a further increase in the pandemic.

     

    2.6      That Housing Committee note the low number of verified rough sleepers (para 3.23) and that the Council will continue to seek to offer accommodation to all verified rough sleepers where this is permissible within the Council’s powers to consolidate this achievement.

     

    2.7      That Housing Committee agree Homeless Reduction Board oversee progress with the recovery of homelessness services, including face to face services, income recovery, move on and reconnections with a report on progress to the next Housing Committee.

     

    2.8      That Housing Committee recommend to full council:

    ·       To adopt the Homeless Bill of Rights (as referred to in the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-25) as an aspirational document and as the standard against which the Council and its partners judge its policies and practices and outcomes;

    ·       That a copy of this resolution is signed by the Leader and sent to FEANTSA to mark its commitment to the international movement of solidarity with homeless people;

    ·       To commit to a process of continuous commitment, improvement and engagement to uphold rights of homeless people.

     

    That Housing Committee recommend to Policy & Resources committee:

     

    2.9      That the Executive Director of Housing, Neighbourhoods & Communities be granted delegated authority to secure accommodation up to the 31st October 2021, by entering into contracts to extend existing arrangements or alternative arrangements where necessary to extend the provision of shorter-term/interim accommodation acquired in response to the Covid 19 pandemic, including a building to deliver the No Second Night Out service up to the beginning of October 2021.

     

    2.10    Agree to continue to support people in the accommodation secured as para 2.9 which includes security, support and food where necessary estimated to cost £2.900m to 1st October 2021.

     

    2.11    Note that if Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) funding is not available, this could create a service pressure of £2.043m.

     

    This committee Notes:

     

    ·       That on 25th June 2019 a Petition with (currently) 2,667 signatures was presented to the Council by Brighton & Hove Housing Coalition, with the support of FEANTSA and Just Fair, calling on it to adopt the Homeless Bill of Rights.

    ·       That the Council Plan 2019-23, states that “We will … adopt a Bill of Rights for homeless people”;

    ·       That the Homelessness and Rough Sleepers Strategy approved by the Housing Committee on 17th June 2020 states that “The values of the … Strategy align to aspirations within the Homeless Bill of Rights as amended for Brighton & Hove by Housing Rights Watch, FEANTSA and Just Fair” (page 11).

    ·       That the Next Steps report presented to the Housing Committee of 17th March 2021 proposes that Housing Committee recommend to Full Council the use of the Homeless Bill of Rights, as a standard against which the Council and its partners judge our policies and practices.

    ·       That the Homeless Bill of Rights User Guide, by Housing Rights Watch, states that “The bravest municipalities believe that endorsing the Bill of Rights was something they wanted to do. They did this showing a public commitment to its content and sending a signed copy of the Bill to FEANTSA. The bill is only a starting point for continuous commitment, improvement and engagement to defend rights of homeless people”;

    ·       That according to the Legal Implications section of the said Next Steps report, “According to the council’s constitution, the ‘Endorsing, approving or otherwise committing the Council to any charter, alliance or pledge’ is a full council function. The recommendation at 2.8 is consistent with the constitution’s requirements”. 

     

    This committee resolves to recommend to full council:

    ·       To adopt the Homeless Bill of Rights (as referred to in the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-25) as an aspirational document and as the standard against which the Council and its partners judge its policies and practices and outcomes;

    ·         That a copy of this resolution is signed by the Leader and sent to FEANTSA to mark its commitment to the international movement of solidarity with homeless people;

    ·         To commit to a process of continuous commitment, improvement and engagement to uphold rights of homeless people.

     

     

147.

Moulsecoomb Neighbourhood Hub & Housing Scheme Update

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    147.1  The Lead City Regeneration Programme Manager introduced the report and stated the following:

     

    The report provides an update on proposals to develop land in Moulsecoomb & Bevendean, delivering approximately 230 council homes as well as a new neighbourhood hub for the community. The hub will accommodate a Youth Centre, Library, GP surgery and pharmacy at the heart of the development. As part of the comprehensive public realm design, new and improved sports facilities are also included in the proposals.

     

    The latest masterplan, included as an appendix to the report, reflects a series of Planning For Real sessions, Design: South East workshops, and Planning consultancy. The feedback received through this engagement has been combined with the principles of sustainability and public health to shape the current proposals.

             

    Following permission from the Secretary of State for change of use, the report also requests approval to proceed with the redevelopment of the Former Portslade Sixth Form site into new council offices and comply with the conditions of consent set out in the report. The redevelopment of this site is a dependency for the wider scheme in Moulsecoomb, as well as supporting the council’s future ways of working and recovery from Covid.

     

    Progress has been made on the housing element of the project with the costs incurred and committed to date for the Housing Scheme totalling £820k. These costs relate to the work undertaken for working up the final design and will form part of the overall scheme costs. This will be funded by the future sites pipeline budget.

     

    The new homes will be delivered over two phases. They will be reliant on grant and initial positive discussions have already been held between the councillor and Homes England. A grant application will be submitted once the design is finalised and costed.

     

    147.2  Councillors Williams and Hugh-Jones congratulated the team on the report.

     

    147.3  Councillor Appich noted that the report should refer to paragraph 3.27 under the legal implications not 3.24.

     

    147.4  Councillor Atkinson noted that the site of the former six form college was currently being used as a COVID-19 testing centre and the residents would be pleased to see the development go ahead.

     

    147.5  Councillor Mears considered the presentation given at supply board to be very useful and considered even more visuals would be helpful. The councillor considered £7m costs would need to be kept on track and school placements to be observed to ensure enough were available.

    147.6  Councillor Gibson considered the progress to be good during the pandemic and felt the residents had been listened to. The 200 council homes would be a benefit to the city and the Homes England grant a positive support if obtained.

     

    147.7  Councillor Hugh-Jones considered the project to be inspiring and noted the materials from the demolished building would be re used in the new build.

     

    147.8  The Chair invited the committee to vote and the recommendations were agreed unanimously.

     

    147.9  RESOLVED: That the Housing Committee:

     

    2.1      That the Housing Committee recommends to Policy & Resource Committee that Policy & Resources Committee:

     

    2.1.1   Notes the progress made on the Moulsecoomb Neighbourhood Hub & Housing Scheme and the rationale for high-level design changes to the masterplan.

     

    2.1.2   Notes the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the programme’s delivery timeline.

     

    2.1.3   Notes the current financial position of the project and the governance arrangements in place to monitor delivery.

     

    2.1.4   Authorises officers to progress the conditions on the change of use consent for the former Portslade Sixth Form site development as set out in paragraph 3.26.

     

148.

Housing Committee Workplan Progress Update and Housing Performance Report - Quarter 3, 2020/21

149.

Items referred for Full Council

    To consider items to be submitted to the XX 2015 Council meeting for information.

     

    In accordance with Procedure Rule 24.3a, the Committee may determine that any item is to be included in its report to Council. In addition, any Group may specify one further item to be included by notifying the Chief Executive no later than 10am on the eighth working day before the Council meeting at which the report is to be made, or if the Committee meeting take place after this deadline, immediately at the conclusion of the Committee meeting

     

     

    Additional documents:

150.

Part Two Proceedings

    To consider whether the items listed in Part Two of the agenda and decisions thereon should remain exempt from disclosure to the press and public.

    Additional documents:

 


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