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You Said We Are Doing The response to Home Truths

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									  Home Truths - You Said, We’re Doing

  There have been major changes in the housing market in the last two years. House prices have fallen; property sales and house
  building are at rock-bottom levels. Repossessions and mortgage deposits are on the increase. In order to better understand these
  changes and what they mean for Sheffield’s residents we ran a consultation campaign called “Home Truths” in late 2009.

  Home Truths involved talking to over 80 Sheffield people and housing professionals such as estate agents, Housing Associations,
  Developers and Landlords, and an online survey that over 300 people completed. This consultation was undertaken to gain a better
  understanding about Sheffield resident’s views of the housing market, what types of decisions people make about housing, and
  how the recession has affected them. In addition this, the research will help us improve housing policies to better help Sheffield
  people.

  The ‘You Said, We’re Doing’ response to the Home Truths research has been developed to answer the questions and issues raised
  in the research. The document sets out what we are currently doing to address these issues, and goes on to set out future
  proposals.

  The full Home Truths report is available to download at - http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/in-your-area/housing-services/home-truths

            What you said                                                       What we’re doing
Affordable Housing
People highlighted the importance of         We have a number of approaches to deliver affordable housing this includes the affordable
providing and delivering more affordable     housing policy and work with partners to deliver more homes.
housing for rent and to buy
                                             Since April 2008 we have delivered 516 new affordable homes of these 343 were social
                                             rent, 164 were low cost home ownership and 9 were for intermediate rent.

                                             We plan to develop a further 219 affordable homes in 2010/11, 169 of these will be for
                                             social rent and 50 will be low cost home ownership

                                             An Affordable Housing Viability Study has been completed to help set affordable housing
                                             targets for housing delivery on open market housing developments. The target will be
                                             included in the Sheffield Development Framework City Policies and Sites planning
                                             documents for consideration in 2012. We are also developing a new Affordable Housing
                                             Strategy which will identify affordable housing options for across city.



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            What you said                                                    What we’re doing
                                           By June 2011 a new Local Housing Company (LHC) should be established. The company
                                           will be part owned by the Council and will deliver homes on the 60 hectares of cleared
                                           housing land across North and South Sheffield. The Company will aim to deliver more
                                           affordable homes than is required in the planning policy. Please click here -
                                           http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/planning-and-city-development/regeneration/housing-
                                           regeneration/sheffield-local-housing-company or enter the Local Housing Company into
                                           the Council website search engine

                                           Phase 1 of the Park Hill redevelopment will be completed by the end of 2013; this will
                                           consist of 283 new 1, 2 & 3 bed flats of which 56 will be for social rent & 12 for shared
                                           ownership.
                                           Please click here - http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/planning-and-city-
                                           development/regeneration/housing-regeneration/south-sheffield-regeneration/park-hill or
                                           enter Park Hill into the Council website search engine
People suggested the need for a greater    We are working with developers who offer shared ownership products to look at ways they
choice of shared ownership such as         can make shared ownership easier to understand. We also signpost customers to these
different locations, property types and    schemes through our website and through the Affordable Housing Access Project.
different products.                        Please click here - http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/in-your-area/housing-services/affordable-
                                           housing or enter Affordable Housing into the Council website search engine
The research also highlighted a number of
misunderstandings about shared ownership We offer different types of shared ownership products, these include:
                                           New Build HomeBuy – is a shared ownership scheme which offers the buyer a share of
                                           25%-75% of a new property with the rest owned by a Housing Association, of which a
                                           reduced rent is paid. There are several schemes in Sheffield offering this, such as three
                                           bed houses in Darnall, 2/3 beds houses in Burngreave and 2, 3 & 4 bed houses in Norfolk
                                           Park.

                                           HomeBuy Direct - Buyers can receive an equity loan of up to 30% and get a mortgage for
                                           the remaining 70%. There are no payments on the equity loan for the first 5 years. After
                                           this repayments are charged at 1.75% and increase annually at the rate of inflation. When
                                           the home is sold the equity loan is paid off as part of the sale price. This is currently
                                           available in Handsworth, Hackenthorpe and Darnall.




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             What you said                                                        What we’re doing
Access to Housing
People would like more advice and              We currently have a website which gives information about affordable housing options and
information on housing in the city             schemes.
                                               Please click here - http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/in-your-area/housing-services/affordable-
                                               housing or enter Affordable Housing into the Council website search engine

                                               We are developing an Affordable Housing Access Project to make it easier for people to
                                               access a wide range of information on affordable housing available in the city. This will
                                               include wider communication activities such as local radio promotion.

                                               Sheffield Homes (who manage our council properties) are also making improvements to
                                               the website that advertises council properties. This will make it easy to access information
                                               on the council properties available and how to bid for them.

                                               The Live Sheffield branding and communication campaign of 8 messages will promote new
                                               housing features including affordability, space standards and flexible design. We aim to
                                               launch the campaign in summer 2010.
Access to mortgages is a major barrier in      We talked to mortgage lenders on potential new ways of partnership working to expand the
the housing market at the moment,              availability of mortgages for people interested in shared ownership. Following the
particularly the need for large deposits       conversions one of our partners is now offering a 100% mortgage on new shared
                                               ownership home.

                                               We intend to work with Housing Associations; other Local Authorities or Government
                                               agencies that have provided/utilised schemes to help people with deposits and accessing
                                               mortgages.
There was a view that we needed to             We have been working with the Muslim community for some time to better understand
improve our understanding of the Muslim        Sharia law issues. We offer Sharia law compliant relocation loans.
practices of lending money such as Sharia
compliant mortgages                            We plan to produce guidelines on how Sharia compliant schemes work and publicise these
                                               on the web site.
People felt that council tenants had limited   A Housing Association Financial Group has been established to provide information and
housing options and should be supported        advice to Housing Associations tenants and finance, savings and debt management. Our
to save for deposits                           Financial Inclusion Forum is also looking at ways of promoting the Credit Union to staff,
                                               some of whom are council tenants


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            What you said                                                        What we’re doing
Making best use of existing properties in the city
People were concerned about the lack of    We have successfully secured £2.7m in funding from the Homes & Communities Agency
council/social housing                     (HCA) to build 54 new council houses for rent over the next two years. This includes 27 in
                                           Shirecliffe, 19 in Burngreave and 8 in Parson Cross. These will be a mix of 2-5 bedroom
                                           houses and bungalows.

                                             Sheffield Homes have launched a pilot in the North of the city to address overcrowding and
                                             under occupation in council housing. With the aim of freeing up larger properties and
                                             making best use of properties.

                                             Our policy that sets out how we allocate properties known as the Lettings Policy is being
                                             reviewed this year. This will consider the level of priority give to families experiencing sever
                                             overcrowding.

                                             We have received funding from Communities and Local Government to deliver a project to
                                             help tackle illegal subletting of council housing. Sheffield Homes have been commissioned
                                             to deliver this project, which will help identify where properties are being illegally sublet,
                                             with the aim of getting these properties back into the lettings pool.
People raised concerns about the             Although we have around 90,000 people registered on our waiting list for Council
allocation of social housing and wanted      properties. Only a quarter of these (around 18,500 people) actively look for council housing
more information on this to be made          every year. This demand has remained roughly the same over the last 5 years and the
available                                    number of new lettings to Council homes has increased since 2007.

                                             The Council Housing Lettings Policy is currently under review. This will ensure that council
                                             housing is allocated in the most efficient way to meet local housing needs. Sheffield
                                             residents will be consulted on the development of the policy and allocations will be clearly
                                             explained to address myths and people’s concerns.
Making improvements and repairs to           Over 32,000 council homes have been made decent since 2004. By March 2014 the total
existing homes was suggested as a way to     will be over 39,000.
prevent people from having to move
                                             Financial assistance is provided to the most vulnerable home owners through the Home
                                             Appreciation equity release loans. This provides assistance for repairs and improvements
                                             to make the property decent. Loans are a maximum of £30,000, there are no monthly
                                             repayments, and the loan is repaid when the property is sold or transferred.
                                             A regional Home Improvement Loan has been proposed to complement the Home


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                                                Appreciation Loan. This is an unsecured interest free repayment loan that will enable low
                                                income households who cannot access mainstream loans to make essential property
                                                repairs to make their home decent.

                                                Disabled Facilities Grants are available to help private households with a disabled person
                                                make adaptations to their home. Since 2007, 939 grants have been provided and we aim
                                                to invest a further £2 million by 2011. In the long term we wish to expand this service to
                                                help over 1,100 private households.

                                                Our free loft and cavity wall insulation scheme is available to all home owners and private
                                                rented tenants regardless of their income, property type or size. By 2011 we will have
                                                visited over 64,000 homes and insulated over 23,000 lofts and cavities. This will help to
                                                improve the energy efficiency of homes and reduce fuel bills.
                                                Please click here - http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/in-your-area/housing-
                                                services/environmental-sustainability/free-insulation-scheme or enter Free Insulation
                                                Scheme into the Council website search engine
People wanted us to deal more quickly with      We work closely with owners to bring long term private empty homes back into use and
derelict and vacant properties in the private   where necessary we take enforcement action. Over the past two years we have brought
and social sector                               back into use over 60 empty homes.
                                                Please click here- http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/in-your-area/housing-services/private-
                                                sector-housing/empty-properties or enter Empty Properties into the Council website
                                                search engine

                                                Sheffield Homes has been carrying out a cleaning and decoration pilot on vacant council
                                                properties and plan to undertake a similar project on the gardens of vacant council
                                                properties. This aims to improve the condition and appearance of council vacant properties
                                                and reduce the amount of time it takes to re-let them.
People were concerned that we continue to       There are a number of reasons why we may make the decision to demolish properties.
demolish council properties                     Some properties are poorly design and constructed and are difficult and expensive to
                                                refurbish. Others are expensive to run and keep warm.

                                                An example of this is at Arbourthorne, the properties that are being demolished are of a
                                                non-traditional construction. This means they require substantial investment to bring them
                                                up to the Decent Homes standard, yet this would not tackle all the issues that make the
                                                properties unsustainable. Residents access their homes via footpaths meaning they cannot


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                                              park their vehicle near their home, which contributes to car crime. The communal open
                                              space is also poorly overlooked and without this natural surveillance, people can feel
                                              unsafe. There is also a lack of variety of homes, with a lot of 2 bed houses.
                                              Redevelopment sites created as a result of demolition like at Arbourthorne are used to
                                              enable building of a mix of modern homes for sale and for rent.

                                              A number of new homes are being developed to replace the unsustainable properties that
                                              have been demolished. New social housing is planned for Arbourthorne and Norfolk Park.
                                              Please click here - http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/planning-and-city-
                                              development/regeneration/housing-regeneration/south-sheffield-
                                              regeneration/arbourthorne or enter Arbourthorne into the Council website search
                                              engine

                                              We are also in the process of redeveloping sites in Hackenthorpe where we have
                                              demolished housing of non traditional build. These houses are being replaced by around
                                              1,000 new homes for rent, sale and shared equity. The residents affected by the demolition
                                              may choose to return to one of these new homes, this is a unique Residents’ Charter
                                              commitment. Please click here - http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/planning-and-city-
                                              development/regeneration/housing-regeneration/south-sheffield-regeneration/swan-
                                              regeneration or enter SWAN into the Council website search engine
Private Rented Sector
There was a view that people on housing       We have improved access to private sector accommodation for homeless people who are
benefit need more support to access the       likely to be on benefits, by establishing Private Rented Solutions (PRS). This has secured
private rented sector for example help with   tenancies for families for a minimum of 12 months. The scheme provides a rent deposit
rent deposits and bonds, and                  loan and one month rent to the family to help them start their tenancy. We want to extend
improvements to the Local Housing             the use of PRS to more families and single people and will explore opportunities to
Allowance system.                             strengthen links and joint working with landlords. We also help the tenants apply for other
                                              financial support to support them to maintain their tenancy, such as Housing Benefit,
                                              Discretionary Housing Payment, Community Care Grant and other finances.
The private rented sector was viewed          The Responsible Landlord Scheme has achieved some success in ensuring that landlords
negatively, compared to other tenures. This   are informed and educated. We intend to encourage more landlords to sign up to the
was influenced by “rogue” landlords and       scheme by providing further incentives for involvement. This will allow us to ensure that the
the quality of housing on offer. People       Private Rented Sector provides good quality accommodation to tenants across the city.
wanted increased regulation on the private
rented sector to reduce this.                 We have been working more closely with Sheffield’s universities. Sheffield Hallam


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                                                University deliver Landlord for Excellence training to private landlords on our behalf and
                                                participate in the Responsible Landlord Scheme.

                                                We are working more proactively to identify “rogue” landlords. This involves carrying out
                                                neighbourhood visits and talking to tenants within the private sector. If a “rogue” landlord is
                                                identified we offer advice to the landlord on how to improve the service they provide. If no
                                                change is made we have the power to prosecute the landlord and support affected tenants.

                                                Please click here – http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/in-your-area/housing-
                                                services/private-sector-housing/private-landlords/sheffield-responsible-landlord-
                                                scheme or enter Responsible Landlord Scheme into the Council website search
                                                engine.
Some private landlords suggested the            Quarterly meetings have been established with the Universities with the intention of
Council needed a better understanding of        discussing the key issues around student accommodation in Sheffield, such as minimising
the Universities’ accommodation strategies      the impact that high concentrations have on the surrounding area e.g. noise, environment,
and the impact this has Sheffield’s housing     crime etc.
market
Housing Development
There was a view from people we talked to,      Funds have been secured from the Homes Communities Agency (HCA) Kickstart Initiative.
that future housing developments will be        This is a Government scheme to support developers with construction on housing
very difficult to deliver                       developments that have stalled because of the recession. We have secured a total of £4.2
                                                million to help deliver new homes this includes 36 affordable homes at Darnall.

                                                The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment planning document looks at how
                                                much housing is deliverable within Sheffield, and where this is likely to happen, to inform
                                                investment decisions.
There was a view that we had focused too        The City Centre Residential Market Assessment showed that City Centre flats provide well
heavily on building city centre flats and not   for certain parts of the market, but that the mix can be improved.
enough on providing family housing in
residential neighbourhoods                      In addition our City Centre masterplan identifies the need to complete the provision of the
                                                right infrastructure to support the city centre neighbourhoods. This will support a more
                                                mixed and long term resident community.

                                                The Sheffield Development Framework City Policies and Sites planning documents will
                                                allocate land for new housing across the city, including areas which will enable further


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                                           family housing to be developed.
Supporting People
The research found that repossessions      We are developing a Repossession Prevention Fund and a Homeless Prevention Fund.
have increased and this may get worse in   Repossession Prevention Fund - This will assist households who are struggling to meet
the future                                 their monthly mortgage payments or rent. By providing a loan or grant up to a maximum of
                                           £5,000.
                                           Homeless Prevention Fund – This is a grant of up to £500 to help prevent homelessness.
                                           The payment is made directly to the landlord/lender to alleviate the threat of eviction or
                                           repossession for at least 6 months.

                                           Our Mortgage Rescue Scheme supports priority need households who are having
                                           problems with paying their mortgage. This is available to households earning less than
                                           £60,000 per annum whose home is worth less than £140,000.
                                           Please click here - http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/in-your-area/housing-
                                           services/homelessandhousingoptions/mortgagerescue or enter Mortgage Rescue
                                           into the Council website search engine

                                           We are taking part in “Breathing Space” Scheme. This is the Regional Mortgage
                                           Assistance Loan Scheme for home owners who are having difficulty paying their mortgage.
                                           The scheme provides an interest free loan secured on the property. The amount that can
                                           be borrowed is between £2,000 and £15,000 and the loan has to be repaid in full at the
                                           end of 3 years. This loan offers short term help to the home owners to prevent them from
                                           becoming homeless.
The research found that housing and        There are three existing extra care schemes that have been open for the past 3 years,
support for older people is becoming       these are:
increasingly important and older people
                                            Brunswick Village at Woodhouse opened in 2008. This is the largest in the city with 217
need to be informed of their housing and
                                             units
support options.
                                            The Roman Ridge at Wincobank opened in January 2010 this has 80 units
                                            The White Willows at Jordanthorpe opened in 2009, this has 60 units.
                                           Please click here - http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/in-your-area/housing-services/older-
                                           people/extra-care or enter Extra Care into the Council website search engine

                                           In Arbourthorne we plan to use some of the land released by the clearance of
                                           unsustainable properties, to deliver new homes for older residents who need to move as a


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                                          result of the redevelopment process.

                                          29 sheltered housing schemes across the city are being improved to create larger, self
                                          contained good quality accommodation. All the refurbishments will be completed by March
                                          2012. Please click here -
                                          http://www.sheffieldhomes.org.uk/myHome/MovingHome/ShelteredHousing.aspx or
                                          enter Sheltered Housing into the search engine on www.sheffieldhomes.org.uk

                                          The Council Lettings Policy review will look at ways to help older people live independently
                                          by developing a policy for sheltered housing that will allow tenants to move within their
                                          existing scheme.

                                          Since 2007, 719 Minor Works Grants have been provided to help people carry out minor
                                          works to repair, adapt or improve their home. The grant is a maximum of £2,000 and is
                                          available to home owners aged 75 or over that are in receipt of a qualifying benefit.
                                          The Stay Put Service provides independent advice on repairs, improvements and
                                          adaptations to homeowners over 60 and disabled of all ages. This includes home safety
                                          checks, a home handy person scheme, grant and loan support, and referrals to other
                                          agencies. We will also be procuring a two year handy person service for older people and
                                          disabled people.

                                          Please click here-
                                          http://www.yorkshirehousing.co.uk/pages/homepage/group_members/yorkshire_ho
                                          using_foundation/sheffield_stay_put/default.aspx or enter Stay Put into the search
                                          engine on www.yorkshirehousing.co.uk
The research found that the housing       We have developed a number of initiatives to help people in the recession, these include:
market downturn and recession has had a
                                           A recession survival toolkit with information and advice on housing, money and jobs etc.
range of non-housing impacts on people,
                                            This was posted to every Sheffield household.
such as on their employment status and
                                           We have secured £8.5 million from the national ‘Future Jobs Fund’ to create around
their health
                                            1,300 six month job opportunities by 2011
                                           We have developed with partners a Rapid Response to Redundancy which provides
                                            support such as a fund to help overcome short term barriers to work (i.e. travel costs),
                                            free training and advice and a 100% subsidy for training through Train2Gain
                                          Please click here - http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/whats-new/creditcrunch or enter
                                          Credit Crunch into the Council website search engine


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                                               The Sheffield Employability Programme will be launched in 2010. This will help us to work,
                                               through brokers, with employers in key sectors to secure work for 1,900 jobseekers in two
                                               years.

                                               We have completed a Health Impact Assessment of our Housing Strategy and analysis of
                                               the impact of housing initiatives on health budgets. In order to address this we plan to
                                               produce a Health Inequalities Plan in Spring 2010 to take action with partners on reducing
                                               health inequality. As part of this we are working closely with our health partners to explore
                                               new ways of delivering services to older people to improve health and well being.
The research found young people and first      We are currently developing proposals for research into the reasons why turnover is
time buyers felt they had been worse           increasing in social housing stock, particularly amongst younger single tenants. This
affected by the housing market downturn        should help identify ways in which we can young people stay in their homes
and the recession
                                               The Council Lettings Policy review will look at the priority given to 16 & 17 year old
People felt that young people needed more      applications who are homeless or about to become homeless.
support to stay in their homes, particularly
in the social sector                           Sheffield Homes and Housing Associations in the city are jointly funding a debt support
                                               project. This will employ two full time support workers and one part time, to provide debt
                                               advice to social housing tenants. We will monitor this project to see how effectively the
                                               project is helping young single customers.
There was a view that Sheffield’s              We have been successful in securing an allocation of the Migration Impact Fund (MIF)
population is becoming increasingly            from the Government. The MIF aims to reduce the impact of migration on communities and
international and that those who do not        the pressure this can place on local services. The funding will deliver a number of projects
speak English may have problems                including:
accessing housing or have negative
                                                build effective relationships with and provide advice and assistance to landlords and
experiences living in the private rented
                                                 tenants
sector
                                                address poor quality housing and disrepair in the private rented sector
                                                identify and action issues of overcrowding, which is a key issues for migrant
                                                 communities

                                               We offer translation and interpretation services in many different ways including face to
                                               face, through the Telephone Interpreting Services and written translations of documents on
                                               request. We also sign-post communities to the English for Speakers for Other Language
                                               (ESOL) courses.



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                                               There is also a drop-in centre for asylum seekers & refugees every Wednesday, in the city
                                               centre. This is attended by various agencies offering advice on support, education,
                                               volunteering and accessing services, and also provides an opportunity for people to
                                               practice their English with Conversation Club.
There was a suggestion that the Council        The Government sets out the way all Councils and Housing Associations calculate rent. It
should try and keep social rents low and       says rents should be worked out in the same way, so that rents for similar homes in the
recognise the impact of the recession on       same area are comparable, no matter who the social landlord is. In April 2010 rent levels
some tenants when managing rent arrears        will increase by 3.6%. In 2009/10, 75% of our tenants were satisfied with the value for
                                               money for their rent.

                                               Sheffield Homes has a Money Advice team that works with tenants to help them manage
                                               their finances and reduce the likelihood of getting into debt. They also have an Income
                                               Management User Group made up of tenants who provide feedback and influence the rent
                                               service.

                                               We also run a Housing Associations Financial Inclusion Forum which has representation
                                               from the major Housing Associations in the city. The forum allows the sharing of good
                                               practice to provide support and information to tenants on, for example, savings, insurance
                                               and benefits take-up.
People told us that adapted homes should       We are updating the information that we hold on Housing Association stock in the city. This
be allocated to those who need it most.        will include details of which properties have had adaptations. We are also exploring access
People also wanted accurate and up to          to the National Register Of Social Housing, which will provide monthly information from
date information on social housing that is     Housing Associations on the types of housing available and any adaptations.
adapted to help independent living
                                               The Council Lettings Policy review is looking how we can help adults who need supported
                                               housing gain access to suitable accommodation.

                                               Sheffield Homes are carrying out a review of properties that are classified as adapted or
                                               suitable for specific needs and are improving how these are advertised.
Neighbourhood issues
The research found that people have very       Our approach to the regeneration of neighbourhoods is to offer a mixture of housing
strong ties to their local area but that       tenures and types that meet the needs of all people and encourage mixed communities.
sometimes there is an insufficient choice of
housing to enable them to stay there           Policies in the Sheffield Development Framework Core Strategy planning document will
                                               ensure that larger new housing sites across the city include a wider range of housing types


                                                                                                                                   11
                                          and sizes, appropriate to location. In particular we have plans to deliver a number of
                                          schemes in the next few years in Hackenthorpe, Arbourthorne and Fir Vale.

                                          We are using planning policy to influence the use of existing homes to ensure that large
                                          family properties are not used for houses in multiple occupation in parts of the city with
                                          high concentrations of shared housing.

                                          The Affordable Housing Strategy will identify affordable housing options for each
                                          community and ensure that we delivery a mix of housing tenures and types.
People were concerned about antisocial    The Sheffield Safer Communities Partnership is responsible for tackling crime and ASB
behaviour (ASB) in their neighbourhoods   issues in the city. Overall levels of crime fell by 11% in 2007-08. The Sheffield Safer
                                          Communities Partnership has set clear targets for 2008-11 this includes a 3% reduction in
                                          the number of people who perceive ASB as a problem in their area.
                                          Please click here - http://www.sheffieldsafercommunities.net




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                                        New Work

The ‘You Said, We’re Doing’ shows the work we are currently progressing to provide more
housing in Sheffield and support our residents to meet their housing needs. However we
recognise that there is still more to do. The following section outlines the ideas we have
got from talking to you about what else is needed and how we plan to explore these in the
next few years.

Affordable Housing
   As part of the Rural Communities Strategy we exploring the potential to joint fund a
    South Yorkshire Rural Housing Enabler. The Rural Housing Enabler would work with
    Community Councils, local landowners, Planning Officers, National Parks, Housing
    Associations and other partners, to find practical solutions to meet the housing needs
    of rural communities.
   We will explore innovative low cost home ownership schemes with developers and
    encourage them to develop different products of affordable housing, including
    opportunities for shared home owners to increase or decrease the shared and rented
    elements of their home.

Access to Housing
   We want to deliver an Affordable Housing Roadshow with affordable housing providers,
    mortgage lenders, financial advisors and potential buyers, to provide information and
    assistance on shared ownership and other low cost homeownership.
   In the coming year we will be examining key worker issues & exploring opportunities to
    work in partnership with large employers in the city to develop projects to provide new
    affordable homes for key workers.

Making better use of existing properties
   We are looking at the possibility of buying back Right to Buy properties and using local
    lettings to help increase the amount of social housing in areas, where housing numbers
    are low and new build opportunities are limited for example rural areas.
   We are exploring the feasibility of creating a common housing register for council and
    Housing Association properties. This would make access to all social rented properties
    in Sheffield available in one place.
   Owner occupiers may have the financial means to invest, but do not always know how
    to go about arranging repair works with a contractor. We will explore ways we can
    assist with this such as providing guidance on typical standards, prices, and warranted
    contractors.
   We are exploring the option of buying empty homes and bringing them back into use in
    areas of the city where there is lack of housing development land.

Private Sector
   We will look at ways to improve the Local Housing Allowance system, particularly in
    relation to improving rent payments between tenants and landlords.
   We will explore offering a repairs package that landlords could buy from the council.
   We will be procuring a bond guarantee/rent deposit scheme to assist homeless people
    to access private rented properties


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Housing Development
   The forthcoming Planning Housing Implementation Strategy will look at any risks
    associated with being unable to deliver sufficient housing to meet our needs, and
    identify actions we can take to maintain supply.
   In 2011-14 a further 4,399 new homes are expected to be built on large housing sites
    and 250 on small sites across the city.
   We will decontaminate and de-risk some sites in the Lower Don Valley for development
    after 2011-14.

Supporting People

   We are exploring opportunities for new older people housing at the Manor, at
    Hemsworth and Stocksbridge.
   A further commissioning plan for older people’s support services will be developed
    which will include consultation with older people living in Sheffield.
   We will look at the issues of the sustainability of young single tenancies at a future
    Housing Associations Financial Inclusion Forum.
   We will be reviewing the Sheffield Benefits Services take up strategy, to increase the
    number of eligible people accessing benefits.
   We will be developing a debt policy to better coordinate the way we seek repayment of
    outstanding debts from local people (such as Council Tax or rent arrears), to ensure
    that they do not suffer more difficult debt problems as a result.
   We will be piloting a hospital discharge service to provide practical support to assist
    people to return home from hospital.




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