To receive a report from the Corporate Manager for Public Health, Regulation and Housing providing members of the Policy Development Group with an opportunity to review the proposed consultation draft of the revised corporate Housing Strategy.
The Group had before it a report * from the Corporate Manager for Public Health, Regulation and Housing providing Members with an opportunity to review the proposed consultation draft of the revised corporate Housing Strategy.
The contents of the report were outlined with the following being highlighted:
· It wasn’t a legal requirement to have a Housing Strategy in place but it was a really important document. Homes were a basic necessity and a fundamental requirement for everybody. Local authorities had a broad role to play in supporting and regulating the housing sector, this forward looking document provided a framework to enable this to happen. It involved key facets such as public health and the opportunity to attract and retain a skilled work force within Mid Devon.
· The proposed Strategy very much linked with other key council policies such as the Local Plan.
· The following ‘HOME’ priorities were proposed within the Strategy document:
o Housing - increase delivery of quality designed, well-built homes across the housing market to meet identified needs
o Optimise - fit for purpose healthy, sustainable, adaptable homes optimised for high energy efficiency and low carbon impact
o Making the most - making the most of our existing homes across the private and public sector in all forms of tenure
o Engage - engaging and working with others including partner organisations to deliver our aims
· A key thread within the document was the Council’s commitment to climate change and the reduction of carbon.
· The Group’s attention was drawn to Objectives 5 and 6 annexed to the report which highlighted the aim of seeking to retain a viable Council Housing stock baseline through full use of available Right to Buy receipts and growing the number of Council houses further through other mechanisms
Discussion took place regarding:
· The proposed strategy represented a step change in approach and a joined up approach with the Planning department and the Local Plan. The Group congratulated the officers in drawing up what was referred to as an ‘excellent piece of work’.
· Concerns regarding a perceived lack of ambition regarding the numbers of new Council houses proposed to be built.
· Figures quoted within the report represented a baseline or a minimum in terms of aspiration. Numbers of houses had had to be included in terms of what was realistically deliverable and achievable. The Strategy had to start somewhere.
· The need to explore all available avenues to building to new homes including the recently advertised modular homes.
· The time table at section 3.2 within the report was confirmed as correct.
The Group NOTED the proposed timeline and stages for adoption of the Housing Strategy.
RECOMMENDED to the Cabinet that the draft Housing Strategy 2021 – 2025, attached at annex 1, be approved for external and public consultation.
(Proposed by the Chairman)
Reason for the decision
The reason for the decision is to ensure the Council can progress to the next key consultation stage leading to the adoption of the Strategy and have approval with regards to the overall adoption process.
Note: * Report previously circulated; copy attached to the signed minutes.