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Wrexham Housing Alliance Minutes 26th June 2008

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Wrexham Housing Alliance Minutes 26th June 2008 Powered By Docstoc
					                                                    Minutes 26th June 2008


                              Present

                              Marc Williams (MW)                Wrexham CBC
                              Mike Jenkins (MJ)                 Wrexham CBC
                              Alan Hardbattle (AH)              Wrexham CBC
                              Clive Nicholas (CN)               Wrexham CBC
                              Wendy Barnsley (WB)               Wrexham CBC
                              Shayne Hembrow (SH)               Wales and West Housing Association
                              Deiniol Evans (DE)                Pennaf Group
                              Graham Worthington (GW)           Pennaf Group
                              Tracey Gibson (TG)                Wrexham CBC
                              Bryn Jones (BJ)                   Cymdeithas Tai Clwyd Housing Association

                              Apologies

                              Anne Hinchey – Wales and West
                              Richard Price – House Builders Federation
                              Gwynne Jones – Cymdeithas Tai Clwyd
                              Mike Pender – House Builders Federation/Anwyl

                              1      Welcome

                              Graham Worthington welcomed everybody to the meeting.

                              2      Minutes of Last Meeting

                              The Minutes of the last meeting were accepted as a true and accurate
                              record.

                              3      Affordable Housing Update

                              Member/Officer Task and Finish Group

                              MJ handed out a report on Affordable Housing in Wrexham – including a
                              brief summary of the current housing market in Wrexham. And the
                              recommendations of the Affordable Housing Task & Finish Group to be
                              submitted to Social Affairs, Health & Housing Scrutiny Committee on 21st
                              July.

                              Joint funding has been obtained from Pennaf, Wales & West, Cymdeithas
                              Tai Clwyd and Housing & Public Protection to appoint an officer on a 3
                              month contract to identify land that is owned by local authorities which
                              could potentially be used for affordable housing.


Tel / Ffôn: 01978 315300          Housing Standards & Strategy Team, Wrexham County Borough Council,
                                  Ruthin Road, Wrexham LL13 7TU
Fax / Ffacs: 315320
E-mail / E-bôst:                  Tîm Strategaeth A Safonau Tai, Bwrdeisftref Sirol Wrexham,
housingstandardsandstrategy       Ffordd Rhuthun, Wrecsam. LL13 7TU
@wrexham.gov.uk
                              Action: RSL’s requested written confirmation that the officer was in
                              place. - MJ
                              AHB had prepared a report of S106 developments where development
                              had stopped to be circulated after the meeting.

                              This will be useful to RSL’s as there may be opportunities for them to work
                              with the developers. Wrexham are not alone in developers stopping work.
                              This is the position across Wales.


                              Affordable Housing Delivery Plans

                              The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) proposes to introduce a
                              statutory duty on Local Authorities to produce an affordable housing
                              delivery plan by 31st March 2009. This will contain a four year target for
                              affordable housing and set out how it will be delivered. It is an interim
                              measure until Local Development Plan’s (LDP) are in place. There is a
                              potential for it to be linked to Social Housing Grant.

                              The guidance document assumes that local authorities are in the same
                              position. Some local authorities will welcome this measure as they have
                              no formal affordable housing policies. Others, like Wrexham, have already
                              done much of this work and it has been suggested that the documents
                              that are already in existence could be pulled together with a covering
                              policy statement. Formal consultation seems unnecessary in this situation.

                              A concern was that with the credit crunch, would we be able to deliver the
                              plans set out.

                              Consultation work for the LDP suggests that affordable housing is not
                              really a major issue with residents. It was noted that many people may
                              not be aware that the Local Authority is involved in affordable housing.
                              Other issues are that some people do not want to live next door to those in
                              affordable housing, so are in opposition to affordable housing projects.

                              Do we need a delivery plan if we have an LDP? The timescales and
                              contents for each need to be examined.

                              Action: Response to consultation to be prepared from the Alliance.
                              Comments to MJ.




Tel / Ffôn: 01978 315300       Housing Standards & Strategy Team, Wrexham County Borough Council,
                               Ruthin Road, Wrexham LL13 7TU
Fax / Ffacs: 315320
E-mail / E-bôst:               Tîm Strategaeth A Safonau Tai, Bwrdeisftref Sirol Wrexham,
housingstandardsandstrategy    Ffordd Rhuthun, Wrecsam. LL13 7TU
@wrexham.gov.uk
                              4      Social Housing Grant Update

                              MJ is still waiting on a date for submission to WAG. Some of the
                              developments included in the SHG may be deferred to a later date, and
                              there may be some more schemes that will be added. Most of the
                              schemes are deliverable.

                              RSL’s are concerned that the 2009/2010 is over subscribed and is going
                              to take 3 years to deliver. WAG don’t seem to see this as a problem,
                              believing that schemes will fall out of the programme. However, given the
                              deliverability of the 2009/2010 schemes, this is unlikely to be the case.


                              5      Homelessness Update

                              (MW) County Borough has been working to reduce the use of bed &
                              breakfast accommodation to house homeless people. This has been
                              successful, with a reduction from £323,000 to £133,000 in the past 2
                              years. This has been through private leasing and also through homeless
                              prevention programmes being set up.

                              Support agencies have until 4th July to submit proposals to run the Night
                              Shelter. Revenue funding is tight and we may need to go back to WAG if
                              we can’t afford to deliver the scheme.

                              Tenancy Support for those in temporary accommodation is to be provided
                              by the Wallich. This will also be available to those who are in bed &
                              breakfast accommodation.

                              A young person’s mediation service/conflict resolution scheme has also
                              been set up with Denbighshire and Flintshire. This will also be provided
                              by the Wallich and is specifically geared to young people but can be
                              applied to anyone as long as they are homeless.

                              Homeless service is looking at the work of Vale Royal as an example of
                              best practise.

                              The National 10 year homelessness plan will soon be out for consultation.

                              The National Homelessness network is working on a number of projects
                              including:
                                      Framework for Section 108 funding
                                      Research into the transient nature of homelessness


Tel / Ffôn: 01978 315300          Housing Standards & Strategy Team, Wrexham County Borough Council,
                                  Ruthin Road, Wrexham LL13 7TU
Fax / Ffacs: 315320
E-mail / E-bôst:                  Tîm Strategaeth A Safonau Tai, Bwrdeisftref Sirol Wrexham,
housingstandardsandstrategy       Ffordd Rhuthun, Wrecsam. LL13 7TU
@wrexham.gov.uk
                                         ‘Mystery Shopper’ exercise to see what services people are
                                          offered to them, if people are given the right information and are
                                          give the option to make a homeless application.


                              6 Private Sector Housing Update – Houses in Multiple Occupation
                              (HMO) and Empty Properties

                              MJ distributed copies of the draft HMO Improvement and Private Sector
                              Enforcement Policies. The draft documents will be presented to Scrutiny
                              Committee on the 9th July and thereafter open to consultation.
                              Consultation expected to run from mid August to end of September to
                              include Alliance members.

                              MJ provided update regarding ongoing programmed HMO and empty
                              property inspections, licensing procedure and landlord & tenant
                              information packs.

                              Over the next 12 months it is expected that empty properties will be down
                              to a core of 100-150.

                              7      Older Persons Housing

                              A copy of the report written by WB was included with the agenda and
                              identified that there needs to be more provision for older persons housing
                              in Wrexham as the number of people over 60 is expected to increase by
                              37% by 2026. This is a draft report which will be presented to the
                              Accommodation & Housing Support Strategy for Older People (AHSSOP)
                              group.

                              SH suggested that the report be sent to WAG as an example of good
                              practice for Local Authorities. There needs to be more land available for
                              Extra Care schemes and more accommodation for older people.


                              8      Local Housing Strategy Action Plan Monitoring

                              SMW guided officers through the action plan and progress as of June
                              2008.
                              It was agreed to review the plan at the next meeting as it would have been
                              in place for 12 months.




Tel / Ffôn: 01978 315300          Housing Standards & Strategy Team, Wrexham County Borough Council,
                                  Ruthin Road, Wrexham LL13 7TU
Fax / Ffacs: 315320
E-mail / E-bôst:                  Tîm Strategaeth A Safonau Tai, Bwrdeisftref Sirol Wrexham,
housingstandardsandstrategy       Ffordd Rhuthun, Wrecsam. LL13 7TU
@wrexham.gov.uk
                              9      Nominations Monitoring

                              WB handed out end of year figures regarding nominations and stated that
                              the 50% target has been easily met.

                              Further auditing was needed to investigate the lower figure of 41% for
                              Clwyd Alyn.

                              10 Local Housing Market Assessment – Consultation

                              MJ has a meeting in July with Flintshire and Denbighshire councils to
                              discuss formal consultation. CDs and Executive Summary’s were
                              distributed to Alliance Members. Comments to MJ are welcome. The
                              information from the report will be going on the website and will be
                              distributed to all Councillors pending wider consultation.

                              11 Rural Housing Enabler (RHE)

                              (MJ) WAG has indicated that there is £150,000 available as part funding
                              for 10 RHE's in Wales. There have been 4 successful pilot schemes and
                              WAG want to extend to the whole of Wales.

                              MJ has spoken with Flintshire and North Powys about their interest in part
                              funding the RHE and both are interested. There was concern that
                              resources would be spread too thinly between three Local Authority areas
                              and MJ sought views of members present, particularly Cymdeithas Tai
                              Clwyd who are already partnering RHE with Conwy and Denbighshire.
                              Consensus that a partnership covering Wrexham and Flintshire only was
                              preferable.

                              MJ will be sitting on the RHE Network Steering Group to agree terms and
                              conditions, branding, salaries etc. Once WAG funding finally approved
                              partnership arrangements, office base and management arrangements
                              will need to be agreed.

                              It is expected that the RHE funding will be confirmed in August with post-
                              holder in place October/November.

                              Action - MJ will report progress to next meeting.

                              12 AOB/Partners Up-Dates

                              Essex review was published on Tuesday with 56 recommendations. The
                              Wrexham Housing Alliance was to be included as an example of good
                              practice.

Tel / Ffôn: 01978 315300          Housing Standards & Strategy Team, Wrexham County Borough Council,
                                  Ruthin Road, Wrexham LL13 7TU
Fax / Ffacs: 315320
E-mail / E-bôst:                  Tîm Strategaeth A Safonau Tai, Bwrdeisftref Sirol Wrexham,
housingstandardsandstrategy       Ffordd Rhuthun, Wrecsam. LL13 7TU
@wrexham.gov.uk
                              Wendy Barnsley leaves her post on 11th July. GW recorded thanks to
                              Wendy for all her hard work and contribution to the team and good luck to
                              her in her new role.

                              13 Time and date of next meeting

                              18th September 2008 at 10am.




Tel / Ffôn: 01978 315300       Housing Standards & Strategy Team, Wrexham County Borough Council,
                               Ruthin Road, Wrexham LL13 7TU
Fax / Ffacs: 315320
E-mail / E-bôst:               Tîm Strategaeth A Safonau Tai, Bwrdeisftref Sirol Wrexham,
housingstandardsandstrategy    Ffordd Rhuthun, Wrecsam. LL13 7TU
@wrexham.gov.uk

				
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