To consider a report from the Corporate Manager for Public Health, Regulation & Housing, Public Health
The Cabinet received a report* which sought agreement with the Department of Levelling Up, Housing Communities (DLUHC) for the provision of affordable housing under the Local Authority Housing Fund (LAHF).
The following was highlighted:
· Mid Devon District Council had recently welcomed people from countries suffering from conflict such as Ukraine and Afghanistan, however, these support schemes had a limited time frame.
· It was expected that Mid Devon District Council’s homelessness programme would be under significant pressure when these schemes end, however a funding programme from the Government had been introduced. This Government scheme provided 40-50% of the funding and there was an aim to provide as much accommodation as possible.
· This accommodation could be used within the wider homelessness accommodation programme.
· Modular developments provided a higher volume of units for this programme.
· This would become a long-term asset that would de-risk the homelessness cost pressures.
The following was considered:
· That there should be a degree of flexibility in regards to the location for this scheme.
· Station Road Car Park may not be the most appropriate location.
· If modular housing was not used, Mid Devon District Council could only house 50% of the original target. It was acknowledged that there would be some long term pressures using Station Road Carpark, but the cost of using hotels as well as Bed and Breakfasts were rising.
· The lifespan of the pods was raised and what would happen to them when they were no longer fit for purpose. The Corporate Manager for Public Health, Regulation and Housing explained that this accommodation had a 100 year life expectancy.
1. That delegated authority be given to the S151 Officer to sign the LAHF Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the DLUHC and Mid Devon District Council as set out in Annex A
2. Subject to recommendation 1, that under the LAHF the Council purchase Property 1 and 2 described within the report and set out further in Annex B
3. Subject to planning permission being granted for the proposed affordable rent modular housing development at a suitable location within the district, yet to be identified:
a) A bid for the Phase1 and Phase 2 work be accepted under the terms of the South West Procurement Alliance (SWPA)
b) This will therefore be a direct award under the SWPA NH2 modular housing framework
4. If a suitable location for the development set out in recommendation 3 cannot be found or planning permission is not granted, the Council purchase suitable additional market properties within the district to include at least one 4-bed property and do so within the terms of the LAHF funding and additional match-funding budget as set out within the report.
5. Delegated authority be granted to the S151 Officer to complete the associated property purchases and the Phase 1 and Phase 2 contracts as required.
(Proposed by Cllr A Wilce and seconded by Cllr Mrs N Woollatt)
Reason for Decision: As stated in the report
Note: *report previously circulated and attached to the minutes