MINUTES LPPG meeting 040526

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MINUTES LPPG meeting 040526 Powered By Docstoc
					Item 6.1
Mayor’s Housing Forum
3pm, 24 June 2008
Committee Room 4/5, City Hall




Title               Mayor’s Housing Forum sub regional housing partnerships
                    update

Author              Isabel Robertson, GLA

Summary             This report updates the Forum on the work of the London sub
                    regional partnerships. Reports from the all the London sub
                    regional partnerships are attached.

Recommendation For information
                                East London Sub Region update June 2008

Strategic issues

      Partnership Board meeting to map the next medium to long term business plan for the Sub Region
      East London considering actions and programme plan for the production and delivery of the Sub
       Regional HMA and HNI arrangements. Series of workshops arranged to work up sub regional
       consensus or approach. Strategic meeting held between Heads of Planning Policy and Heads of Housing
       for the eight boroughs in East London, mapping out the first stages of the project.
      LDF implications being assessed against possible requirements for Thames Gateway and Olympics
       plans and pipeline developments.
      RSL participation in initiatives such as homelessness and overcrowding being proactively promoted
       with tools being developed for evaluation of effectiveness.
      Sub Regional approach for next phase of Mayoral plans and policies being finalised.
      The NAHP 2008/11 programme has been mapped out and will be monitored / evaluated to demonstrate
       delivery of Sub Regional and Regional priorities, and ensure taking action where appropriate to ensure a
       coordinated approach towards long term objectives.

Action Based Initiatives:

       1. Homelessness:
       I. Achievements

              a. Completion of a report into local authority Sanctuary provision in the sub region which
                 identified that there were 421 homelessness preventions as a result of Sanctuary in the year
                 2006/07.

              b. A mapping exercise on action to reduce the numbers of rough sleepers, coordination of sub
                 regional work on rough sleeping. Identified the need for research to accurately determine the
                 number of rough sleepers in the sub region and agree an appropriate sub regional response.

              c. Agreed action to promote the Prodigals educational programme to reduce youth
                 homelessness.

              d. Survey of temporary accommodation in the sub region identified 8 key findings.
                 Information specific to the sub region.

              e. Proposal for RSLs to become actively involved in the work of the Homelessness Group
                 resulted in 13 participating on work to reduce and prevent homelessness and the use of
                 temporary accommodation.

       II. Forward Plan

              a. Completion of the TA study to inform forward planning for the group.

              b. Collate date from 2 years of P1E returns for the sub region in order to identify trends specific
                 to the sub region, to target reduction and prevention activities.

              c. Youth web site, DVD and educational tool roll out in the sub region.


                                                                                                                2
             d. Take forward the recommendations from the Sanctuary study, in particular to develop
                reciprocal arrangements, mindful of the links between domestic violence, homelessness and
                worklessness.

             e. To build on the partnership work with RSLs.

             f. Maintain links with overcrowding work, mindful of the links between overcrowding and
                homelessness.

      2. Overcrowding

             I. New Work programme agreed May 08 to cover until September 08.

             II. Supporting Boroughs re planning and action plans- met with 3 B&D , City, and Newham
                 WF-TBC

             III. Consultation with RSLs to develop scheme similar to SE for under occupation and homeless
                  moves.

             IV. Overcrowding Consultation meetings April and May information sharing and other sub
                 region developments.

             V. Developing information sharing training pack to deliver to Housing Advice and other
                frontline staff to boroughs within the sub region as set out in Overcrowding Tool Kit.



Private Sector

      I. Overall programme management
          2006-08 funding has all been spent and we are already paying out the 2008-09 interim funding for
      all work areas. Capital programme officers double checking spend figures and will review output
      calculations once that is done. We are in the first round of sub-group meetings to prepare the 2009-11
      bid. Chief Officers of all the east London Boroughs have agreed to submit a joint bid for private sector
      housing work. We are able to demonstrate need and capacity to deliver well above current funding
      levels.

      II. Decent Homes programme
          BRE have been commissioned to update their modelling of private sector decent homes failure/
      fuel poverty etc and a sub-group of officers established to work out how to use that work to improve
      Borough condition surveys and targeting of resources. An EU compliant framework for employing the
      decent homes programme managing agent has been awarded to Warm Zone and runs for 5 years
      extendable to 7. The process has generated a considerable reduction in scheme management costs to the
      sub-region. The contract notice for the associated works contractor framework has been issued and we
      are currently receiving pre-qualification questionnaires. The sub-region was regarded as one of the
      most successful at using DEFRA Community Energy Efficiency Funds to enhance the service
      established using regional funding. We expect a visit from the incoming Minister for Climate Change,
      Joan Ruddock, MP next Tuesday 10th June, to see how we used it. Equity release loans are now being
      delivered in every Borough in the sub-region as the DABD income maximisation service starts to get
      clients to the stage of considering such forms of finance. The London Rebuilding Society property
      appreciation loans are now being offered in every Borough and are allowing residents to remain in
      homes that they were otherwise doomed to lose. Use of the DABD income maximisation and financial
                                                                                                                 3
capability coaching services to support "right to buy" leaseholders within social housing decent homes
programmes is a major area of growth in those Boroughs with the largest programmes.

III. Empty Property programme
Adverts for the sub-regional empty property project officer are about to be issued and we hope to
appoint to the post in July. The three EU compliant framework agreements to support the use of Empty
Dwelling Management and Compulsory Purchase Orders are in the final stages of procurement with
tender bids due in over the next few weeks. The first job of the empty property project officer will be to
establish call off procedures from the frameworks and a number of Boroughs say they have properties
lined up for the use of the Housing Act (2004) powers which will be supported by the contracts. We
held our annual training day on area based empty property action which was attended by over 40
officers from many London Boroughs and from as far away as Stockport.




                                                                                                         4
                                                     Mayor’s Housing Forum

                                                            24th June 2008

                                             North London Sub-Regional Update


1.           Strategic Issues
     Sub-Regional Review/Future Priorities – Priorities for the next 18 months have been agreed, and the sub-region’s partnership
     structure has been re-aligned to support work. Priorities include:

           Core Work: Maximising the sub-region’s share of the 08-11 NAHP; sub-regional nominations arrangements,
       programme delivery for specific government funded initiatives and maintaining the sub-region’s track record for
       securing new funding for 08-11
           New Projects: As these are identified through the partnership structure, with a view to moving away from service
       delivery work to ways of discharging boroughs’ strategic housing functions. For example, the joint procurement of
       housing market assessments
           Review of the 2003 Housing Strategy: Update to be prepared by the summer 08

     Housing Corporation & LGA National Protocol – The North London version of the protocol was formally submitted to
     the Corporation in April 08.

     RSL Sponsored BME Communities Needs Mapping Work – Consultants were appointed in Nov. 07 to undertake this work.
     Sponsored by 16 RSLs, and led by the Chief Executive of Odu-Dua HA, the findings are to be formally presented and
     published in early July 08. The project has generated a significant level of interest at both a regional and national level. The
     NLSA have also agreed to provide £20k to support the focus group element of the project.

     Housing Market Assessments - Options in terms of procuring borough HMAs within the sub-region are currently being
     explored. An approach has also been received from Hackney – who fall within the NLSA planning sub-region – to be involved
     in this exercise.

     Gypsy & Travellers Housing Needs Assessment – The findings have been signed-off by both boroughs and stakeholder groups
     involved in the assessment. The report was formally submitted to CLG on 2nd May 08.

     Under-Occupation CLG-funded Pilot – The initial phase of research is now complete, and an Under-Occupation
     Officers Group is established. A range of different borough initiatives are now underway, which will seek to increase the
     number of under-occupier moves by 10% within the next year. A further £50,000 has been awarded to the sub-region to
     continue with this work during 08/09.


2.           Specific Workstreams
     Move-On Alternatives Project – Work has reached the halfway point in terms of implementing the 8 agreed recommendations.
     Further funding of £40k has been secured from CLG to enable the project to continue. A project review event took place at
     the end of April to reflect on the progress made, the challenges ahead and review the action plan. Three specific work streams
     have been identified – roll out of pathways model, move-on criteria assessment and role of the private rented sector.

     Homelessness – The sub-region’s Homelessness Group has now been re-established. A funding bid to enable the sub-region to
     appoint a dedicated officer to co-ordinate joint action on homelessness and homelessness prevention has been worked up and
     submitted to CLG. Key areas identified for joint action include homelessness prevention; a review of inter-borough
     placements and rent deposit schemes; the development of a sub-regional out-of-hours service and a new service for private
     lettings, possibly linked into CBL.

     Supporting People Joint Commissioning Update – A regional floating support service for released offenders is currently being
     piloted, with a view to developing large scale floating support. A move-on Pathways model through homeless services is also
     being explored (already in place for rough sleepers in Camden & Westminster).

     Home Connections - Home Connections have recently won the tender to provide CBL services to Peabody Housing Trust.
     They have also won the GLA’s tender to set up a project, linking employment services with mobility moves.


                                                                                                                                        5
   North London Landlords Forum – The first sub-regional landlords forum took place on 13th Dec. 07. 180 landlords attended
   and the event was positively received. This is to become an annual event, with one borough to take the lead each year.

   Private Sector Stock Condition Surveys – 3 boroughs (Barnet, Haringey & Westminster) plan to jointly procure new stock
   condition surveys, with the tender process currently being reviewed.


5. 2006-08 Regional Housing Pot Targeted Funding Streams
   Extensions/De-Conversions Programme (£2.15m/43 units)
   100% take-up, with all funding committed.

   Empty Homes Programme (£3.375m/310 units)
   100% of the funding has been formally committed which will enable 421 homes to be brought back into use.

   Decent Homes Programme (£6.135m/5,140 units)
   100% take-up with all funding committed. A contract was entered into with British Gas in October 07. To date, 864
   central heating measures and 1,304 insulation measures have been installed at an average cost of work of £1,400 per
   property - well within the £2k benchmark figure set by GoL.

   2008/09 Targeted Funding Interim Allocations - Indicative interim funding allocations have now been confirmed. The sub-
   region will receive the following:

   Empty Homes              £1.3m
   Decent Homes             £3.0675m




                                                                                                                       Produced by:
                                                                                                                       Lesley Mallett
                                                                                      North London Sub-Regional Housing Co-ordinator
                                                                                                        Lesley.mallett@barnet.gov.uk
                                                                                                                 Tel. 020 8359 7015




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SE London Housing Partnership Update, June 2008
SELHP 2008-2011
 Budget has been agreed to cover 3 year period.

Housing Market Assessment (HMA)
      Lewisham HMA with ORS is due to be published soon and ORS‟s work in Southwark and Bexley is well
  advanced. The other 2 boroughs are in the process of procuring. We are still heading towards 5 individual assessments
  alongside a sub regional one, which ideally would be simultaneous with the last 2 borough assessments.
      A sub regional assessment, to accompany borough assessments, would be made up of collation of borough level
  primary data (e.g. to produce statistically reliable findings about demographic sub groups), collation of market data
  and stakeholder involvement. Plans for stakeholder questionnaires, discussion groups etc. are fairly well advanced.
      Housing association partners, GoL and GLA have been invited to join the project group for the sub regional
  element.

Housing Market 2007-8
 We are finalising our review of the housing market in SE London for 2007-8. Initial findings suggest that average
  prices increased in 4 out of 5 boroughs in 2007-8 – Bexley the exception being one of 2 London boroughs to see a
  slight decrease.
 Increases in SE London were lower than London average.
 Most wards still saw an increase in prices from September 2007 to March 2008.
 Price falls or significantly slower increases are only discernible from January 2008.
 Over Quarter 4 of 2007-8 prices fell in 4 out of 5 boroughs.
 Price falls and slower increases are most obvious in outer London and in less affluent areas.
 Rents provide a more confused picture but there appear to have been more increases than decreases and in some wards
  rents increased by over 10% between September 2007 and March 2008.

Intermediate Housing
 2 new Open Market HomeBuy products are likely to prove far more popular than recent predecessors. We will be
   working with Tower (HomeBuy Agent) to ensure marketing to existing tenants is as effect as possible.
 SELHP Intermediate Housing Group has been reconvened after a gap of 6 months. Its 2008-9 priorities include
   mortgage rescue, affordability, and marketing for people with disabilities.
 Successful new homes day was held in April.
 A marketing plan for 2008-9 is in place.

Homelessness
 RSL Chief Executives have been invited to sign up to the homelessness action plan for housing associations in SE
  London 2008-9.
 Agreement has been reached about use of the private rented sector – e.g. covering circumstances in which boroughs
  may use private rented properties in other boroughs for rent deposit schemes.
 Joint training on financial inclusion (funded as part of the DWP‟s „Now Let‟s Talk Money‟ campaign) has been
  provided by Toynbee Hall for front line officers. We are considering commissioning more.

Nominations
 Monitoring of inter borough 2004-6 and 2006-8 allocations is up-to-date though we have yet to calculate the “credits
  and debits” arising from the final 2006-8 allocation.

Under Occupation & Overcrowding
 Over 30 HA under occupation moves, and subsequent rehousing of overcrowded households, have taken place under
  the SELHP pilot scheme and the database of under occupying tenants now has well over 100 names. A range of RSLs
  is now actively contributing. CLG has confirmed a further £50,000 for 2008-9, though additional funding will be
  necessary to maintain the current level of activity (4 moves per month) beyond November.
 Further development of the scheme in 2008-9 includes greater joint working with Seaside and Country Homes,
  greater exploitation of mutual exchange, and buying out under occupying RSL leaseholders.
                                                                                                                         7
“Discretionary funding streams”
 Funding for 2008-9 was confirmed, and received. No significant changes are proposed in the programmes that are
  supported and the relative apportionment of resources between these programmes. However level of commitment is
  already very high and resources are likely to be exhausted well before end of 2008-9
 The LDA has provided briefings for both RSLs and LA officers.
 Delivery of Settled Homes Initiative has gone well in Bromley as has extensions in Southwark and Greenwich.

Private sector
 A sub regional Landlord Day was held in May.
 Kirsten Firth has been recruited to the post of SELHP Private Sector Projects Co-ordinator. Her workplan will include
   taking forward proposals on equity release and exploring options for future funding of handyperson services.

Empty Homes
 We continue to discuss how to jointly procure an agency that can take on responsibility for managing EDMOs and
  interim management orders for HMOs. The need for both is becoming increasingly urgent and boroughs may need to
  procure on an entirely ad hoc basis.
 A seminar will be held in June at which current good practice in the sub region is shared (Lewisham – EDMOs,
  Southwark – CPOs, Bexley – untidy sites, and enforced sale, Hyde HA and Amicus Horizon - TSHG). We will also
  share emerging good practice on EMDOs via a series of meetings convened by the Empty Homes Agency.

Accessible Housing
           Our wheelchair design guidelines have been revised and now include improved drawings.
           A protocol between boroughs and RSLs about adaptations has been finalised and is out for ratification.
 Borough OTs are devising a training package for a group of RSLs who have agreed to pilot Minor Adaptations
  Without Delay.
 Boroughs are jointly commissioning In Touch to provide an advice and support service for people with disabilities and
  on long term benefits who wish to access Low Cost Home Ownership, complementing initial advice and publicity
  provided by the HomeBuy Agent.

Supporting People
      We are planning a joint event for Commissioning Bodies later in 2008, possibly as an opportunity to disseminate
  and explore findings from Housing Market Assessments.
      Services for older people are a focus for 2008-9.

Working with RSLs
 RSLs have been asked to provide information on asset management, disposals and stock rationalisation. (SE London
  Housing Association Group has a sub group looking at stock rationalisation and is aware of emergence of good
  practice).
 Boroughs have agreed arrangements for monitoring RSL performance. Borough level RSL liaison groups have been
  invited to propose what performance data RSLs seek from boroughs.


Website
www.selondonhousing.org contains plenty more information including a review of 2007-8 and an action plan for 2008-9
especially on the What‟s New page.

Dave Shiress   SE London Housing Partnership Co- ordinator      June 2008




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                          Update from South West London sub-region
                                               June 2008

1.     Introduction
1.1    This note highlights notable activities in the SW London sub-region for Members of the
       Mayor‟s housing forum to note. Any questions can be directed to the Partnership Director,
       Shelagh Hair at the meeting or afterwards by contacting her at Shelagh.hair@croydon.gov.uk
       or 07760 437 929.

2.     Strategy
2.1    We have a new set of strategic objectives for the Partnership. These are:

           Maximise the supply of affordable housing across the sub-region overall, providing the right
            sort of homes (in terms of size and mix) in the right places (where development makes sense and
            is possible) without compromising on good design or environmental issues
           Make best use of existing stock, including:
              using the private sector to meet housing need
              Improving the condition of existing stock across the sub-region (in all sectors), both to
                 ensure that people are living in decent conditions and also that homes have lower carbon
                 emissions
           Champion environmental issues
           Increase housing options/choices for residents in the sub-region (including mobility where
            residents want it) and work to prevent homelessness
           Maintain a consumer focus ensuring fair access and equality.
           Raise standards in practice and services across the sub-region, by identifying, sharing and
            emulating best practice across SW London

2.3    A draft action plan for 2008/09 related to these objectives has been developed. This is
       appended for Members of the Forum to see the priorities for SW London this year.

       Housing Market Assessments
2.4    We will be working on a sub-regional assessment during the year. Some individual boroughs
       also wish to carry out detailed market assessment work, linking into the sub-regional project.
       This will be done with reference to the GLA‟s London project.


3.     Strategic Partners for Development
       Review of strategic partner RSLs
 3.1   A review of strategic partner RSLs has taken place in the sub-region. The results have been
       discussed with senior officers and Members and the strategic partners will be informed of the
       results later this month. The list of partners will be available on our website around the end of
       June (www.swlhp.org)
 3..2 We will be working with our strategic partners on producing sub-regional benchmark PIs for
      Housing Management and possibly a management charter. More details will follow as work
      progresses.


 4.    SWLHP/ Housing Corporation Protocol
                                                                                                          9
4.1   The Partnership has agreed a protocol for joint working with the Housing Corporation (in May
      2008). We will be working with the Corporation over the next month to develop a 12 month
      action plan to turn the protocol into action on the ground.

5.    Capital Programmes
      National Affordable Housing Programme
5.1    The final allocation take-up in the sub-region for the NAHP 2006/08 was £317.9m (4,563
       units). This was 142% of the original allocation.

      Private sector programme (targeted funding stream)
5.2   The sub-region has successfully delivered its private sector grants for 2006/08 with all grants
      either spent or committed across the three programmes we run:
                     Houseproud (£300k per year)
                     Coldbusters (£2.7 million per year) ; and
                     Empty properties (£1.5 m per year).

      Extensions and de-conversions programme
5.3   At the end of March 2008, the sub-region had used up just under half the £2m allocation
      (£900,000). 18 units have taken up grant. The programme will roll forward into 2008/09 when
      we expect all 40 units will be completed. The level of grant provided for each property (£50k)
      is not sufficient for boroughs and it is difficult for some to find the funds to meet the remaining
      costs. Sourcing the properties and getting planning permission overall is not an issue.

6.    Over-crowding project
6.1    We have a sub-regional officer (Gayle Mansfield) in place to prioritise work on overcrowding
       across the sub-region, assist boroughs with initiatives to alleviate the situation and promote
       good practice. She is also setting up an RSL under-occupation scheme for SW London. Her
       streams of work are attached for the Forum‟s information.




                                                                                                      10
11
       Draft SWLHP Action Plan for 2008/09 – to deliver on the new strategic objectives agreed for the sub-region

SWLHP strategic objective                               Related action proposed                               Timescale           Lead Group and
                                                                                                                                  other stakeholders

 Maximise the supply of affordable housing across          Work with our strategic partners to deliver the   Ongoing             Development group
 the sub-region overall, providing the right sort of        NAHP that we already have allocated to the                            and RSL strategic
 homes (in terms of size and mix) in the right places       sub-region;                                                           partners
 (where development makes sense and is possible)           strive to achieve a good level of NAHP in the     Quarterly
 without compromising on good design or                     sub-region through the “regular market
 environmental issues                                       engagement process”
                                                           review development to ensure that it is in line
                                                            with the requirements in the investment
                                                            framework
                                                           review the investment framework to ensure         Quarter 3 2008/9    PD with
                                                            that it reflects latest borough strategies and                        development group
                                                            sub-regional priorities on size of homes,
                                                            correct tenure mix, etc.
                                                           deliver objectives in our SW London               By end of 2008/09   Intermediate housing
                                                            intermediate housing strategy including                               group
                                                            reviewing our intermediate housing
                                                            programmes to:
                                                                      o ensure that they are delivering
                                                                          what is needed and
                                                                      o review pilot schemes and identify
                                                                          innovative funding approaches       By end of 2008/09   Strategy group
                                                           produce housing market analysis for the sub-
                                                            region                                            by December 2008    Strategy group /
                                                           develop sub-regional policy on need for                               Directors and
                                                            additional pitches sites arising from gypsies                         Members
                                                            and travellers research
                                                           ensure supported housing programme is             Q3 & Q4 2008/09     Development group
                                                            meeting need and identify where new                                   / SP group
                                                            provision is required
 Make best use of existing stock, including:               Deliver our private sector grants and meet        Ongoing with        Private sector group
                                                                                                                                                       12
SWLHP strategic objective                               Related action proposed                                Timescale           Lead Group and
                                                                                                                                   other stakeholders

                   • using the private sector to            targets to a) bring empty properties back into     quarterly reviews
                     meet housing need                      use, b) make homes decent for vulnerable
                   • Improving the condition of             households and c)provide options (through
                     existing stock across the sub-         house-proud) for vulnerable home owners to
                     region (in all sectors), both to       meet the costs of improvements.
                     ensure that people are living in      Deliver the sub-region‟s existing extensions       By end 2008/09      Extensions / de-
                     decent conditions and also that        and de-conversions programme of 40 units and                           conversions group
                     homes have lower carbon                carry out a review of the effectiveness of this
                     emissions                              programme
                                                           Put in a strong bid for targeted funding stream    July 2008           Private sector group
                                                            private sector grant funding and extensions and                        and PD
                                                            de-conversions funding (if appropriate)            See overcrowding    Over-crowding
                                                           Develop and implement actions to reduce and        action plan         project manager
                                                            alleviate over-crowding in stock in SW
                                                            London, including setting up an RSL under-
                                                            occupation scheme                                  Ongoing
                                                           Work with boroughs to contribute to the
                                                            Government review of HRA to alleviate the
                                                            consequences of boroughs in a negative
                                                            subsidy position.
 Champion environmental issues                             Identify a number of exemplar environmental        by July 2008        Development group,
                                                            projects with strategic partners across the sub-                       RSL partners.
                                                            region
                                                           Access grants like the Innovation and
                                                            opportunity fund – identify opportunities
                                                            across the sub-region
 Increase housing options/choices for residents in         Effectively manage the sub-regional pool of        ongoing, with       Allocation managers
 the sub-region (including mobility where residents         units and the nominations arising from it. In      formal quarterly    (nominations)
 want it) and work to prevent homelessness                  addition:                                          review reports      Development
                                                                     o Carry out a review of the types of      produced            managers (units)
                                                                          households assisted through the
                                                                          sub-regional nominations to ensure

                                                                                                                                                        13
SWLHP strategic objective                             Related action proposed                               Timescale            Lead Group and
                                                                                                                                 other stakeholders

                                                                       it is meeting needs.
                                                                   o Update all agreements relating to
                                                                       sub-regional nominations to ensure                        PD / Directors group
                                                                       that they                            Ongoing
                                                         Contribute to and help to shape London wide
                                                          projects related to mobility (like capital                             Homelessness group
                                                          moves)                                            Plans by September
                                                         work to influence the plans being developed to    2008
                                                          ensure SW residents gain access to growth area                         Homelessness group
                                                          units.                                            Agreement by
                                                         Promote and support youth homelessness            September 2008
                                                          education programme (Lambeth‟s the                                     Homelessness group
                                                          prodigals and Merton project)                     Autumn 2008
                                                         Set up domestic violence reciprocal agreement
                                                          in the sub-region
                                                         Draw up action plan / agreement with RSLs on
                                                          delivering homelessness strategies across the
                                                          sub-region
 Maintain a consumer focus ensuring fair access and      Deliver the objectives in our SW London BME       Through-out          Equalities group
 equality.                                                housing strategy including :                      2008/09 (see BME
                                                                   o Review figures on access to            action plan)
                                                                       housing and identify any issues
                                                                       arising
                                                                   o Review BE access to SP services
                                                         Review resident engagement / involvement                               TBA
                                                          across the sub-region and showcase best           Autumn 2008
                                                          practice                                                               Allocation managers
                                                         Ensure sub-regional nominations are dealt with    Review position by   / PD
                                                          in a customer friendly way are producing          Autumn 2008
                                                          beneficial results for consumers and influence
                                                          proposed London mobility schemes in this
                                                          respect.

                                                                                                                                                      14
SWLHP strategic objective                              Related action proposed                              Timescale   Lead Group and
                                                                                                                        other stakeholders


 Raise standards in practice and services across the   All groups have this objective, but in the
 sub-region, by identifying, sharing and emulating     following areas have been identified in particular
 best practice across SW London                        for 2008/09:
                                                        Housing management
                                                        Resident engagement
                                                        Youth homelessness




                                                                                                                                             15
Our Overcrowding/under-occupation project manager, Gayle Mansfield) started in December 07. There are 4 key strands of work that she
will be pursuing and these are summarised below. Gayle will be at the meeting to meet the Partnership.
The 4 strands of work:
1. Raising the performance across boroughs on dealing with under-occupation and co-ordinating use of the CLG overcrowding money in
    boroughs in the sub-region
2. Developing a housing options approach to over-crowding
3. Setting up an under-occupation scheme for RSLs in the sub-region (working with SW London)
4. London wide liaison and events
Raising the performance        Developing a housing         Setting up an under-           London wide liaison and
across boroughs on             options approach to over- occupation scheme for             events
dealing with under-            crowding                     RSLs in the sub-
occupation

      Review mapping exercise             Map all current activity            Investigations into and            work with London
       and update report on                 relating to over-crowding            report on feasibility of            Councils on setting up the
       latest approaches in all             (newbuild, approaches for            introducing a scheme in             2008 London-wide
       the boroughs                         alleviating, allocation              SW London                           conference
      Evaluation of the different          policies, etc)                      Project plan                       work on information
       approaches                          Work on recording of                implementation                      bulletins/communication
      Recommendations for                  over-crowding figures                                                    materials
       improving performance               Report on the approaches                                                attendance at liaison
       across the sub-region                across the sub-region                                                    meetings London-wide,
      Development of a suite of           Development of “housing                                                  sub-regionally and with
       “housing options” for                options” for over-crowded                                                CLG
       under-occupiers.                     households

Gail will also attend and report to allocation managers, manage and support under-occupation officers‟ group meetings and attend Partnership Meetings as
necessary.




                                                                                                                                                           16
                             West London Update June 2008


           The West London Housing Website is now live and can be visited at:
                           www.westlondonhousing.org.uk


West London HELP scheme launched
The aim of this scheme is to ensure that every homeless household is offered advice and
information about employment and training opportunities. A joined up approach ensures
that homelessness and housing options staff put homeless household in contact with
employment and training services, and that referrals are systematically tracked so that
employment and training outcomes can be measured.

Welcoming the scheme, Housing Minister Caroline Flint said:

       “Since joining this department I have been impressed by how far some landlords
      already go to provide access to opportunity as well as a roof over their tenant‟s
      heads. A home is not enough, we need to give people the chance to escape the
      cycle of homelessness and unemployment by supporting them to find training and a
      job and this scheme is designed to do just that. By linking housing advice with
      employment advice the West London Housing Employment scheme will provide
      valuable support that can transform people‟s lives”.




West London Letstart Launched
The West London Letstart scheme was initially developed through a grant from the
government's Homelessness Innovation Fund as a way for the boroughs to work in
partnership with private sector landlords and lettings agents to achieve our programme of
prevent homelessness by assisting people to take up a private sector tenancy.
The new website allows properties to be uploaded by private landlords and agents, and
viewed by potential tenants who meet the councils' criteria. The site was launched on May
6th 2008, and we are hopeful that it will assist us to access more suitable accommodation
as well as providing a better facility to record information about properties and tenancies.
www.westlondonletstart.com

Temp to Settled Accommodation Scheme
West London has a consortium in place ready to acquire properties, but uncertainty over
long term Government commitment to funding the rent and managements costs means
that boroughs are unwilling to sign up to the scheme without some reassurance from the
DWP that their review of TA costs, which has now been put back to next year, won‟t
compromise the long term financial viability of the scheme.
The West London Housing Partnership has written to the Stephen Timms at the DWP,
Yvette Cooper at the Treasury and Caroline Flint at CLG, as well as the Housing
Corporation, to request assistance in unblocking the situation. We are proposing an
alternative option of additional capital funding to counter-balance the long term risk.

Locata Cross Borough edition in October
West London is planning to have a single issue of Locata where all the properties
advertised in that edition are available to qualifying applicants from any borough. Currently
only 10% of all relets are advertised on the cross borough pages of the Locata magazine,
and these properties are quite likely to go to applicants from the host borough. The real
demand for mobility across borough boundaries is hard to gauge. There will be additional
research to accompany this initiative, so that we start to get a picture of what motivates
and constricts mobility and how people actually bid in practice.


Making Private Sector Homes Decent in West London
West London has awarded the 08-09 contract for thermal and energy efficiency work to
London Warm Zone. The award winning project, initially funded under the targeted
funding stream in 2006-8 has gone from strength to strength, providing vulnerable
homeowners with access to warmth through improved heating systems and home
insulation, and in an enhancement to the core scheme, to install smoke alarms for
vulnerable households. The scheme carries out door to door assessments to identify the
needs of individual households. These assessments are carried out by a team of
assessors who also complete benefit health checks and provide practical advice about
warmth and energy issues.

In addition to the sub-regional funding for Warm Zone, West London was also successful
in bidding for £420,000 from Defra to spend on marketing and other activities to improve
energy efficiency measures. This funding provided an extra 10,000 assessments and a
strong sub-regional advertising campaign.

In 06-08 the West London Warm Zone scheme improved 1,968 homes to the decent
homes standard.

Better Homes Grant: West London provides private landlords with small grants to bring
rented homes up to the decent homes standard where these are let to homeless or
potentially homeless households. 500 privately rented homes were brought up to the
decent homes standard in 06-08 with the assistance of our innovative Better Homes
Grant.

Empty Properties
West London boroughs brought back a total of 322 empty homes into use in 2006-8, the
majority for use as affordable housing. Grant assistance is provided to owners in return for
leases of at lest 2 years either as Assured short hold settled tenancies or longer term
leasing through PSL or HALS schemes.


Targeted Funding Stream Bids




                                                                                           18
Boroughs and sub regions are in the process of developing bids. West London will
continue to bid at sub regional level for Empty Properties and Private sector decent homes
and Extensions and deconversions. We are looking at a joint equity release scheme with
South East London.

Overcrowding
West London boroughs are collecting data via the Locata CBL system for CLG baseline
information and quarterly monitoring returns. Boroughs are in the process of completing
their action plans on overcrowding, and as part of this we are developing a number of new
schemes, in particular a scheme aimed at helping non dependant adults move out of the
family home, and we are working with RSLs to develop a scheme along the lines of the
Camden model, to make better use of internal space.



And finally…..Tim Gray, our Homelessness coordinator, has been „spotted‟, and whisked
away on secondment to the CLG. Homelessness coordinator post is currently out to
advert.


Contact:
Rachel Ormerod
West London Housing Partnership Coordinator

Email: Rachel.ormerod@lbhf,gov.uk
Tel: 0208 753 1952
Mobile: 077 1780 3371




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