South East London Housing Partnership
Private Sector Housing Group
17 May 2007
Bromley Civic Centre,
Host Martin Parsons Location
Stockwell Close, Bromley BR1 3UH
Dianne Blazer (Bexley), Kevin Murphy (Bexley), Steve Habgood (Bromley),
Martin Parsons (Bromley), Ros Gill (Greenwich), Mark Pledger (Lewisham),
Dave Shiress (SELHP), Kirilly Sully (SELHP), Sheryl Charles (Southwark), Pat
Apologies Bob Clegg (Bromley), Sam Davidson (Southwark)
1. Invited Guest: Roland Taylor, CEN
Roland discussed with the group the present status of the programme as it enters the
first quarter of 2007/08. There have been a total of 243 enquiries which have yet to
be surveyed with a total projected funding requirement of £505,448. A total of 83 Roland
applications have been received by CEN, equalling a total projected funding amount
of £258,964. A total of 6 approvals have been requested equalling £23,036 in
funding. Roland was requested to change the progress report category for
„Enquiries‟ to „Enquiries to be Surveyed‟.
The present time lag between receiving an enquiry and commencing works for
approved applications is approximately 4 weeks. Priority cases, such as where
elderly residents have no hot water supply facilities, are able to be turned around in 3
weeks. Roland indicated that they are able to address up to 10 priority cases at a
CEN will be conducting a mail out across the 5 boroughs, which is to entail
approximately 20,000 properties, equalling 4,000 properties per borough. The mail
out is to include a standard letter and leaflet. The standard letter is to be printed on
the respective Council‟s letterhead. Roland was requested to include a contact Roland
number on the standard letter for Greenwich and Lewisham Councils. The group
agreed to the use of the current leaflets distributed by CEN for the coldbusters
programme, in the mail out. The mail out is to commence at the end of May and is to
be spread over the next few months.
Lewisham have just recently conducted their own marketing for the coldbusters
programme, which has elevated the number of enquiries for that area. Bromley are
planning on conducting their own marketing for the coldbusters programme in the
Kirilly to send to the group a copy of the GLA returns that were submitted for the end Kirilly
The boroughs requested information from CEN regarding homes that were assessed
and found to be non decent The boroughs indicated that they had not been in
receipt of any non decent homes details from the 2006/07 period. Roland to Roland
investigate where this information went and to provide the relevant details of the non
decent homes to the boroughs.
Roland discussed with the group a programme they deliver in partnership with the
south west London sub region. The programme conducts at home visits to an
identified target group. The programme promotes grants that are available to the
household and provides in-house energy efficiency advice, such as how to use the
controls on their heating systems. Households are also given advice on their
entitlements to benefits during the visit. Funding for the programme is sourced from
a private boiler manufacturing company. Roland advised that the cost of the delivery
the programme equates to approximately £150 to £200 per visit. The programme
works in close collaboration with community groups to provide energy efficiency
advice. Roland indicated that he would be happy to arrange for a member of the
programme to attend any future meetings to give the group a run down of the
The question was raised to CEN as to whether they would be able to add to the
coldbusters scheme any of the proposed climate changes measures that the GLA are
looking to introduce. Roland indicated that in other sub regions they are already
running schemes to install solar hot water systems and he feels that there would be
no problems with including climate change schemes into the current coldbusters
scheme. A solar hot water system presently adds approximately £2,500 per property
to the grant required. The proportion of properties that are suitable for solar hot water
systems gets smaller as you get closer into the London city area. A suggestion was
made to use the available £200K contingency funding to support a pilot solar hot
water system scheme. The consensus was to not support this suggestion. The client
group for solar hot water systems was identified as being vastly different to that for
basic heating systems. The group agreed to not proceed with this suggestion unless
specific funding was made available for such a scheme.
CEN‟s contract with the SELHP, via Southwark has been signed and sealed. Sheryl Sheryl
to forward to the group a copy of the contract specifications.
2. Matters arising from minutes of meeting held on 29 March 2007:
Kirilly advised that the EAGA hardship fund had been expended some months ago.
Dave and Steve to draft a research proposal for the group to consider. Dave /
Dave advised that he had presented the equity release loan idea to other councils
and the GLA and had not received any interest from these groups at this stage.
Pat advised that the equity release subgroup had now dissolved.
A discussion was had regarding the provision of energy efficiency and home
maintenance advice within the sub region. Ros to provide a cost proposal for a Ros
surveyor or other suitable person to provide a home maintenance advice service in
which home assessments are performed and a prioritised schedule of works is
Martin to approach CEN regarding a joint bid approach for DEFRA funding. Martin
3. Progress report on programmes:
Dave advised that there was £200K available from the home maintenance and
contingency scheme from the 2006/07 decent homes funding pot and suggested it be
distributed between Bexley and Greenwich to support their loan fund commitments.
The group agreed to allocate £80,000 of the 2006/07 contingency funding to Bexley
for their loan fund scheme and £120,000 of the 2006/07 contingency funding to
Greenwich to support their loan fund schemes. Kirilly to update records. Kirilly
The group agreed to allocate £50,000 from the 2007/08 contingency funding to
Bromley for their handyperson programme. The additional funding allocation was
granted to Bromley on the condition that they report back on their use of the
handyperson service by vulnerable families. Kirilly to update records. Kirilly
Dave confirmed that in addition to using up to £15,000 per unit from the empty homes
funding pot, boroughs are able to use additional funding of up to £20,000 for an
empty property loan. This loan funding is available on the condition that the loan is
repaid within 5 years and the money received is clearly ring fenced and used to bring
further empty properties back into use. Boroughs must maintain records of loan
funding received via the empty properties funding pot and records of the empty
properties that are brought back into use via additional grants provided from the
repaid empty property loans.
4. GLA returns:
Kirilly worked through with the group, the updated and presumed final draft of the
London Regional Housing Pot 2006/08 report template. A question was raised as to
whether the boroughs are able to double count in the table labelled „Number of
Vulnerable Beneficiaries‟. Kirilly to clarify. Kirilly
5. Discussion Paper: Criteria for the handyperson scheme
The group agreed to a majority of the proposals put forward in the discussion paper.
The group disagreed that there should be a drive towards providing the handyperson Kirilly
service to families. Kirilly to amend the discussion paper according to the resolutions
made by the group and to distribute the amended document to the group.
The agreed proposals from the discussion paper include:
o The handyperson scheme is to be predominantly for, and therefore targeted
at, “vulnerable” or those eligible for vulnerable status (benefits based)
o There should be charging arrangements if the handyperson service is to be
provided to better off, non vulnerable residents.
o Ethnic monitoring should be carried out.
o GLA monitoring returns should be accompanied by some commentary or
explanation (see that used by Greenwich for 2006/07 returns).
o The scheme should continue its focus on removing hazards and should
wherever possible be contributing to achieving decent homes.
o Core questions within the decent homes assessments should be
standardised – but how they are dealt with should also be consistent.
Scheme coordinators should assume a casework type responsibility for
assessments that refer to non decency – e.g. should pursue a loan fund or
CEN applications, possibility using handypersons to introduce residents to
representatives of other schemes.
o There should be a review of handyperson scheme literature – the long term
aim being to ensure better targeting and consistency.
6. IMO’s, FMO’s, EDMO’s:
Bromley is currently taking the lead for the sub region on EDMO‟s and will share their
learning experience once first EDMO has been processed.
7. 2008 – 2011: priorities and capacity
Dave advised that the GLA has requested specific information from the sub regions
regarding the proposed funding pot for 2008/11. The sub regions are required to
provide to the GLA:
o An idea of what they could spend on their current schemes during the
o Whether they prefer the funding to be allocated via bidding or
o And if bidding is the preference, what criteria would be used to assess
The boroughs indicated that in respect to the decent homes programmes they
believed they could achieve further spend above the annual funding allocations for
the 2006/08 programmes. In particular, the boroughs indicated they could spend
over the 2008/11 funding period for the loan fund between £1.5 million and £2 million
for each of the funding years and for the thermal efficiency scheme £1.2 million plus.
A further indication regarding the handyperson scheme was that the boroughs could
reasonably spend more than the current funding allocation. Kirilly, Dave and Pat to Kirilly /
prepare a submission for the GLA. Dave / Pat
8. Invited Guest: Doug Wright – Feasibility Study on Equity Release
As Doug was unable to attend today‟s meeting, a further meeting will be arranged
with Ros, Dave and Pat at a later date to discuss the feasibility study on equity
release. Anyone else wishing to take part in this meeting should make contact with
Ros. Ros to arrange the meeting Ros
Ros advised that the study was proposed to commence in July and finish by
Next meeting: Thursday 12 July 2007 @ Greenwich