this Bulletin reports the main issues covered at:
REGional houSinG BoaRd 23.06.09
REGional houSinG BoaRd (23.06.09)
South EaSt Plan houSinG and PlanninG dElivERy GRant
Publication of the South East Plan in May has shifted the focus to its (hPdG) ConSultation RESPonSE
delivery. although seven legal challenges have been lodged, these are the Board agreed a consultation response that broadly supported the
largely site specific and do not appear to fundamentally challenge the Government’s approach, but noted a number of practical problems
basis of the Plan. the Plan gives the region, for the first time, a with some of the grant criteria. Given the importance of investing in
statutory planning framework at the regional level and gives a sound the skills and capability of local authorities to facilitate delivery, the
basis on which to move forward. two partial reviews are currently proposed £75m cut in the funding channelled through the grant was
being progressed; of these the Board has commented on the work heavily criticised.
underway to identify the need for additional facilities for Gypsies and
travellers. Board members emphasised the need for the Government to do
more to encourage local authorities to balance short-term pressures
Members were concerned, given the current economic climate, about with the need to set out a longer-term vision. they also emphasised
the growing pressure on funding for affordable housing and the the potential benefit to the region’s rural authorities of the proposal
feasibility of achieving the South East Plan’s affordable housing targets. to extend the scope of the grant regime, particularly where rural
Regional housing Board (RhB) Chairman, Cllr Elizabeth Cartwright, authorities are working on a joint basis.
will write to John healey MP, Minister for housing, outlining the
Board’s concerns. the risk of local authorities losing skills as development control
personnel are laid off during the economic downturn was identified as
hoMES and CoMMunitiES aGEnCy (hCa) a growing concern for the Board. Members supported a proposition
Members acknowledged hCa’s success in achieving 98.7% of its that encourages the Government to introduce greater flexibility into
target for completed affordable homes in 2008/09. however, it noted the grant regime. the Board’s proposal, if supported by the
that this number (9,633 homes) was below that required by the South Government, would offer the potential of investing in a skills resource
East Plan, so the region continues to not meet the necessary increase that all local authorities in the region could draw upon.
in affordable housing. it was particularly concerning to note that the
high level of existing commitments gives the hCa little flexibility in london houSinG StRatEGy
the short term to address the funding shortfall. the Board noted
with some alarm the apparent drop off in delivery over the next two
years; an apparent consequence of the decision by Government to the Board’s response to the consultation was agreed. this welcomes
pull forward investment in response to the recession. the three-year target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes and that a
third of these should be family units, but highlights the need for
longer-term planning guidelines to add certainty to the proposals.
affoRdaBlE houSinG dElivERy
an update of the Board’s partners’ work to help address barriers to Members will follow with interest some of the more innovative
the delivery of affordable housing highlighted that there is no single approaches put forward by the proposals.
solution to the problem. a series of workshops for elected members
and officers from across the region had emphasised the importance of
investing in the skills and capability of all those involved in delivery. houSinG iMPliCationS of an aGEinG
Board members noted the growing constraints on the ability of SoCiEty
Section 106 agreements to contribute to the delivery of affordable one of the key issues to be considered when producing the new
homes. however, the Board also noted the risk of relying solely on single Regional Strategy will be the implications of the region’s ageing
public sector funding to provide affordable housing and the need for population. Suggestions to help the region plan for this include making
public and private sectors to work together to share the risk. it easier for older occupants of larger social rented properties to
vacate them once their needs have changed, for more research to be
Members endorsed an action plan that maps out the Board’s ongoing undertaken into older people’s housing needs at a local level, and for
work to support delivery across the region. the supply of care housing to be increased.
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REGional tRanSPoRt BoaRd (RtB) 24.07.09 23.10.09
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REGional houSinG and
08.09.09 01.12.09 Board meeting papers are available at:
REGEnERation BoaRd (RhRB)
REGional houSinG BoaRd (23.06.09)
REGional houSinG BoaRd: thE futuRE Evaluation of haMPShiRE allianCE foR
this was the last meeting of the Board in its current guise. Changes RuRal affoRdaBlE houSinG (haRah)
in the regional governance arrangements mean that the scope and the work of haRah was noted and members agreed that other
role of the Board is changing. this will be reflected in a change of parts of the region should be encouraged to look into similar
name too: it will become the Regional housing and Regeneration schemes that promote rural affordable housing and identify the skills
Board (RhRB). required and examples of best practice; potentially using the South
East Excellence website to spread the word.
the terms of reference for the RhRB will be considered by the first
meeting of the South East England Partnership Board on 24 July. input
from social and environmental experts will be retained and there will
be greater representation from local authorities, grant-giving bodies
and private sector house builders.
the first meeting of the new RhRB will be held on 8 September.
PRivatE SECtoR REnEwal (PSR) PRoGRaMME
Members noted that the majority of the 2006-08 PSR funding had
now been either spent or committed, with only £5m outstanding in
May 2009. the Board will continue to work with and monitor the
four local authorities that have rolled their remaining funds over to
Please note that the South East England Regional Assembly dissolved on 31 March 2009. The regional planning body is now the
South East England Partnership Board, which is supported by staff from the former Assembly and from SEEDA.