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					 Homes for Harlow
Harlow‟s Housing Strategy
       2004 - 2007
1      Foreword ............................................................................................................ 4
2      Executive Summary .......................................................................................... 5
3      About Harlow ..................................................................................................... 7
    3.1          Harlow and its Environment ............................................................................... 7
    3.2          Harlow‟s Population ........................................................................................... 7
    3.3          Economy in Harlow ............................................................................................ 8
    3.4          Housing in Harlow .............................................................................................. 8
4      A Vision for Harlow ........................................................................................... 9
    4.1          National Housing Priorities ................................................................................. 9
    4.2          Regional Housing Priorities ................................................................................ 9
    4.3          Strategic Priorities for the Sub-Region ..............................................................10
    4.4          Local Housing Priorities.....................................................................................10
    4.5          Local Strategic Priorities....................................................................................10
    4.6          The Council‟s Vision for Harlow – Statement of Intent .......................................11
    4.7          Other Local Strategic Priorities ..........................................................................12
    4.8          Consultation & Stakeholder Views ....................................................................13
    4.9          Harlow‟s Housing Priorities ...............................................................................15
    4.10         How We Deliver Priorities and Monitor Outcomes .............................................16
    4.11         Reviewing and Updating our Housing Strategy .................................................17
    4.12         Partnerships to Deliver Priorities .......................................................................19
5      Affordable Homes & Housing Markets .......................................................... 20
    5.1          Harlow‟s Diverse Housing Market .....................................................................20
    5.2          Affording a Home in Harlow – House Prices, Rents and Incomes .....................20
    5.3          The Demand for Affordable Homes ...................................................................21
    5.4          The Supply of Affordable Homes.......................................................................24
    5.5          New Affordable Housing....................................................................................25
6      Decent Homes – Improving the Condition of Harlow’s Homes ................... 27
    6.1          The Condition of Housing in Harlow and the Decent Homes Standard ..............27
    6.2          Privately Owned Homes ....................................................................................27
    6.3          Council Owned Homes .....................................................................................28
7      Homes for All – Social Inclusion and Regeneration ..................................... 30
    7.1     Promoting Independence – Supported Housing and Supporting People ...........30
    7.2     Tackling Homelessness ....................................................................................31
    7.3 Regeneration Focus – Harlow‟s Neighbourhood Renewal Programme .....................32
8      Community Matters - Stakeholders and Partnerships ................................. 33
    8.1          Listening to Harlow‟s People .............................................................................33
    8.2          Listening to Our Tenants and Leaseholders ......................................................33
9. Resources .......................................................................................................... 35
    9.1 Council Funding ........................................................................................................35
    9.2     Future and Other Sources of Funding ...............................................................37
10. Performance Review ...................................................................................... 39
    10.1     Delivering Previous Objectives .............................................................................39
    10.2     Delivering Objectives and Improving Services .......................................................39
11.        Appendices .................................................................................................. 40
       I      National & Regional Objectives and Harlow’s Key Priorities ............................ 40
       II     Housing Affordability & Demand in Harlow ...................................................... 42
       III    Housing Capital Funding and Spending 2001/02 & 2002/03. ............................. 44
       IV     Affordable Housing Production & Funding – 2002 – 2004 ................................. 46
       V      Performance Review ............................................................................................ 47
       VI     Housing National Performance Indicators Outturn 2002/03................................ 50
       VII    Housing Strategy Action Plan .............................................................................. 51
       VIII Contacts at Harlow Council ................................................................................. 63
       IX     Further Reading .................................................................................................... 64


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X     Glossary of Terms ................................................................................................ 65
XI    Community Languages and Accessibility ............................................................ 67
XII   Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix 2003 ....................................................... 68




                                                      3
1 Foreword
Housing is a key priority for Harlow Council and for its partners. This comprehensive
housing strategy is built upon a clear vision for the future of housing in Harlow,
expressed in a robust Community Plan, Harlow 2020 Vision and the Council‟s
priorities, the Statement of Intent for Harlow.

Much has changed in Harlow over recent years – the continued refinement of the
community strategy for Harlow, the Harlow 2020 Vision and the creation of specific
actions and targets, phase one of a major regeneration of the town centre is
approaching completion and the shift in political control of the Council from a Labour
to joint Conservative/Liberal Democrat administration to a minority Liberal Democrat,
administration, along with a new political structure.

Also much has changed in the national and regional housing environment over the
last two years – the publication of the Sustainable Communities Plan, the Regional
Housing Strategy for the East of England and major changes to the way capital
resources for housing are to be distributed. Similarly much will change in the coming
years, not least with the proposals for housing growth in the M11 corridor.

In 2001, the Council launched its revitalised housing strategy „Homes for Harlow‟. It is
a testament to the forward thinking employed in the development of our strategy that
the four key themes we began with in 2001 are as relevant today, even though
changes have happened and continue to do so. The four key themes that underpin
housing in Harlow are:

   Affordable Homes
   Decent Homes
   Homes for All
   Community Matters

The basis of this strategy is not the generation of new key themes, but to build upon
the progress we have made to date and to reflect current and future changes in new
objectives and priorities under the four areas. The focus remains, as always on how
the Council as a whole and its partners are delivering to achieve Homes for Harlow‟s
strategic aims.

The Council‟s role as primary provider of affordable housing in the town is covered in
greater detail in its housing business plan „Investing in Harlow‟s Homes 2004-2007‟
which sets out how the Council as landlord will assist in the achievement of its
strategic housing aims. Both „Homes for Harlow‟ and „Investing in Harlow‟s Homes‟
can be viewed on the Council‟s website at www.harlow.gov.uk.

Councilor Su Lawton, Deputy Leader Harlow Council and Chair of Housing
Committee.
February 2004




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2 Executive Summary
About Harlow
Harlow is a former new town, situated in the west of Essex and within a short rail or
car journey of London. It is a relatively small town, but is one of the most densely
populated areas in the East of England. The town is located in the East of England
Region, which is one of the fastest growing regions in population terms because of its
relative prosperity and the ease of commuting to London.

Harlow has a very mixed economy, with the town being home to large, multi -national
companies and major public sector employers. However, the town has lower than
average incomes and is one of the most deprived in the East of England region.
Housing is a key issue in Harlow; its proximity to London and location within a
„pressured‟ area, have led to house prices rising and buying a home is now beyond
the reach of many local people including many key workers employed in the public
and private sectors in Harlow.

Harlow‟s private rented sector is small and expensive. Consequently, many people
turn to the Council to seek access to Council or Housing Association
accommodation. As a result, the demand for affordable housing in Harlow has grown
significantly over the last decade.

Most of the homes in the town were built in the last fifty years so the majority are in
good condition however, as many of the properties were built around the same time,
whole areas may be reaching the point where significant works are required to
address the problems caused through ageing.

A Vision for Harlow
As well as issues directly linked to housing, such as the quality and provision of
homes, there are also broader issues relating to the local environment and economy
that may have an influence on this strategy
The long-term objectives for Harlow are enshrined in Harlow 2020 Vision – the
community plan for Harlow produced by the Local Strategic Partnership – Harlow
2020. These are complimented by the Council‟s Statement of Intent, which sets out
the Council‟s own objectives and priorities for the town.

Homes for Harlow
This Housing Strategy is set within the partnership and corporate context of both the
2020 Vision and the Statement of Intent objectives. The key priorities for housing and
other related issues over the four-year period compliment the broader agenda for the
town.

Harlow’s Housing Strategy Four Key Objectives & Progress Summary.
This strategy builds upon the work the Council and its partners have already done in
delivering objectives set in earlier strategies, identifies our current strategic priorities
and the steps we will be taking to continue to achieve them.

A table showing the progress from the previous Housing Strategy in 2002 can be
found in appendix 8V



                                              5
„Homes for Harlow‟ sets out the four key themes that lie at the heart of housing
strategy in Harlow, which are in themselves, consistent with the 2020 Vision
objectives and the aims set out in the Council‟s Statement of Intent. The four key
housing themes in turn lead to the production of a comprehensive housing action
plan, which the Council then seeks to deliver through its services and through
partnership with other organisations. Our strategic priorities are shown below. To
deliver them, we have constructed a detailed action plan, which can be found at
appendix VII.


   Affordable Homes – Meeting local housing needs
   Decent Homes – Improving the condition of Harlow‟s homes
   Homes for All – promoting social inclusion and regenerating communities
   Community Matters – Empowering stakeholders


Local Priorities in the National and Regional Context

As well as reflecting the local strategic priorities for housing, Homes for Harlow also
recognises the wider strategic aims and targets for the Government and the region.
These national and regional priorities are obviously much broader than the local
strategic priorities and in order to work effectively, Harlow District Council must
ensure that priorities are responded to in a manner that is consistent with both
meeting local needs whilst also responding to these broader targets.




                                          6
3 About Harlow
3.1 Harlow and its Environment
   Harlow was one of the earliest of the post war New Towns, with the main fabric of
   the town constructed over a thirty-year period from 1950 to 1980. Harlow District
   has tightly constrained boundaries and is bordered between Epping Forest District
   in Essex to the south and East Hertfordshire District to the north.
     London Stansted Airport is ten miles away and Harlow is mid-way between the
     emerging centre of London Docklands and the technology based Cambridge
     economy. It is located on the M11 London – Cambridge motorway, is ten minutes
     from the M25 motorway and is 25 minutes by train from the City of London.
     Harlow is located within the East of England Region. The Regional Housing
     Strategy divides the region into sub-groupings. Harlow is within the London
     Commuter Belt sub-region, along with Brentwood, Chelmsford, Epping Forest and
     Uttlesford councils from Essex and the ten-district/borough council‟s in
     Hertfordshire.
3.2 Harlow’s Population
   Harlow has a population of 78,8991 and this is projected to rise to 82,500 by 2006
   and further to 84,100 by 2011. The highest growing age group in Essex in the
   period 2001 to 2011 is the 60-69 age band and 19% of Harlow‟s population are
   aged 60 and over. Harlow is the most densely populated district in Essex, with
   25.79 people per hectare1
     Two other significant features of Harlow‟s population are the number of
     households that consists of one adult or one adult with dependent children. In
     Harlow, 29% households1 are made up of one adult. Of these, 13% (4,300
     households)1 are above state retirement pension age.
     6.5% of the town‟s population is from black and minority ethnic groups (including
     people classifying themselves as being Irish). The most significant minority group
     are people classifying themselves as Asian/Asian British, making up 1.6% of the
     population. The largest single community are people classifying themselves as
     Chinese, which make up 0.9% of the Town‟s population1
In comparison with the rest of Essex, Harlow has1:
    Highest occupancy rating, indicating overcrowding
    Highest rate of single person households
    Highest rate of lone parent households (8%)
    More households living in terraced houses2




1
    Source: ONS 2001 Census


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   More households living in flats at 5 or more storeys high.
   Highest rate of separation and divorce
   Highest rate of unemployment
   High rate of people permanently sick or disabled
3.3 Economy in Harlow
Harlow has a diverse economy, with several major companies with a strong research
and development sector, and a relatively youthful labour force. However, Harlow
also has problems of deprivation and suffers from low levels of educational
achievement. It is the third most deprived district (out of 48) in the Eastern region and
the 82nd most deprived district (out of 354) in the country. Dis-aggregation of the
index reveals that ten of Harlow‟s sixteen wards are in the worst 1,000 wards
nationally for housing. Harlow is designated as a Priority Area for Economic
Regeneration in the Regional Planning Guidance for the South East (RPG 9).


3.4 Housing in Harlow
Harlow‟s housing stock was mainly constructed over the period 1950 to 1980.The
Council is by far the largest property owner and, as a percentage of all the housing in
the town, Harlow has the second highest proportion of Council housing in England.
The chart below shows the breakdown of the housing stock in Harlow:


                               Tenure in Harlow


                                4% 5%
               30%                                               RSL
                                                                 Private Rented
                                                                 Owner Occupier
                                                                 Council
                                        61%




The dominant form of occupancy is owner occupation, making up approximately 60%
of all housing in Harlow. Council housing makes up just over 30%, with housing
association and private rented sector properties making up around 4% each.

Most recent new house building has been concentrated in development on the
Eastern edge of the town, with 3,500 new homes built at Church Langley since 1996
and a further 2,800 homes being built on the New Hall development.




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4 A Vision for Harlow
4.1 National Housing Priorities
Key Government housing and economic polices impact upon and underpin the
direction of Harlow‟s Housing Strategy. These are set out in the Government‟s
publication Sustainable Communities: Building for the future and the Government‟s
Green Paper Quality and Choice: a Decent Home for All, many of which are
particularly important for the future of Harlow.

   Aims to ensure that all properties managed by social landlords achieve the
   Decent Homes Standard by 2010.
   To improve the conditions of the most vulnerable tenants in the private sector.
   Addressing the growing demand for more affordable housing.
   Encourage the re-development of brown-field sites in order to protect the
   environment

National Housing Policy Statement – Quality and Choice: a Decent Home for All
aims to promote quality and choice in housing through proposals that include:

   Making better use of resources, such as empty, privately owned properties.
   Raising the standards of privately rented accommodation.
    Delivering more affordable homes through strategic working between planning
      authorities, housing authorities and private developers.

4.2 Regional Housing Priorities
The East of England‟s Regional Housing Strategy 2003-2006 puts into clearer
context the Government‟s aims for creating sustainable communities. In order to
reflect more accurately the issues across such a diverse area, the East of England is
broken down into 10 sub-regions and as mentioned above, Harlow is at the heart of
the London Commuter Belt Sub-Region.

This sub-region has one quarter of the country‟s new towns and the Regional
Housing Strategy recognises that these areas “need infrastructure reinvestment on a
cycle that is currently at a peak.”

Harlow has played a key role in the development of these sub-regional priorities;
since 2002, Harlow together with its neighbouring districts in Essex and Hertfordshire
has contributed to the process of identifying the common priorities across the area,
based upon knowledge of local issues, such as the growing need for more affordable
housing. In turn, these have led to a set of priorities for the sub-region.




                                          9
The emergence of sub-regional structures has also encouraged greater joint-working
between authorities, an example being the recently commissioned research by
Harlow and other Essex authorities into the issues that face people from black and
ethnic minority groups in housing.




4.3 Strategic Priorities for the Sub-Region
It is recognised within the Regional Housing Strategy that local housing issues will be
increasingly delivered throughout the sub-region through more joint-working across
district and county boundaries. The vision of housing priorities in the London
Commuter Belt Sub Region can be summarised as:

   To make the best use of all resources including finance, land and the existing
   stock.
   To deliver affordability and choice in housing for all households
   To meet the support needs of vulnerable households
   To seek innovative solutions through joint working as sub-regional relationships
   develop.

4.4    Local Housing Priorities
As well as linking in with the broader national and regional housing strategies
mentioned above, Homes for Harlow must also recognise the wider issues of the
local community and the contribution that housing can make in achieving some of
these goals. Harlow‟s local plan, Harlow 2020 Vision, and the Council‟s Statement of
Intent give a clear direction.

4.5 Local Strategic Priorities
In 1993 a Local Strategic Partnership was set up to take a co-ordinated approach to
the development of Harlow and realise the benefits of shared knowledge and shared
resources.
The Local Government Act 2000 placed upon local authorities and duty to prepare
community strategies promoting the economy, social and welfare issues through joint
working with a wide range of local partners. This in effect formalised the role of what
has now become the Harlow 20/20 Partnership, reinforcing the links between this
local plan and other strategies, including Homes for Harlow.
Harlow‟s Local Strategic Partnership, Harlow 2020, is made up of the following
organisations:

      Harlow Council                          Harlow College
      Harlow Centre for Volunteer             Harlow and District Chamber of
       Support                                  Commerce
      Harlow Primary Care Trust               Harlow Police
      Harlow Schools Consortium               Harlow Town Centre Steering Group
      Harlow Partnership Against              Essex County Council
       Poverty
      East of England Development             The Employment Service
       Agency


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          Princess Alexandra Hospital            Bill Rammell MP
          BAA Stansted                           The Learning and Skills Council

Harlow 2020 is Chaired by the Principal of Harlow College, David Ellerby. It has
determined its priorities for the Town. These are contained in the Community Plan,
Harlow 2020 Vision. Harlow 2020 Vision contains clear priorities and goals for
housing and housing related issues in Harlow:


      To meet the Government‟s decent homes standard
      To ensure that 50% of all affordable new housing is one bedroomed
      To enable a minimum of 200 new dwellings per year over the next ten years
      To ensure that at least 30% of all new homes built on developments of 15 or more
      dwellings (or half a hectare) are affordable. This will provide around 200 new
      affordable homes by 2005
      Of the 200 new affordable homes, around 175 will be for rent and the remainder
      for shared ownership
      To ensure that new developments follow the policies as set out in the RHLP, with
      regards the protection and preservation of Wildlife Sites, Sites of Special
      Scientific Interest, Local Nature Reserves and verges.
      Employ dedicated anti-social behaviour staff and increase the use of anti-social
      behaviour orders
      To extend the Regeneration Focus programme to other areas of the town.

4.6       The Council’s Vision for Harlow – Statement of Intent

  The Council‟s vision for Harlow in enshrined in the Statement of Intent. This sets
  out the major priorities for the Council and its vision for the town over the period
  2002 to 2006. The Council‟s vision for Harlow is:
      To make Harlow a safe place in which to work and live.
      To ensure an adequate supply of decent, affordable housing.
      To develop a prosperous and sustainable local economy
      To invest in the future for everyone – both young and old – and respond to their
      specific needs
      To work in partnership with everyone who lives and works in Harlow
      To make the environment clean, safe and sustainable.
      To provide fair and accessible services that are efficient, effective and customer
      focused.

      This vision is then described by a number of key tasks that the Council, working
      with partners, has set itself as objectives:
      Increase investment in the town in terms of jobs, training, affordable housing and
      infrastructure improvements.
      Maintain and improve the quality of our environment and the sustainability of our
      lifestyles.
      Improve the appearance of the street scene and enforce legislation in respect of
      litter and dumped rubbish, dog fouling and abandoned vehicles.
      Improve opportunities for Harlow‟s children, young people and older people
      Invest in community safety.



                                             11
      Develop an organisation that will improve performance across all services and
      result in a council tax that sees Harlow‟s contribution reducing year on year.
      Improve customer satisfaction across all services.
      Increase investment in decent homes, increase the supply of affordable homes,
      provide a first class housing service and build sustainable communities where
      people want to live.




4.7     Other Local Strategic Priorities

There are other local strategies that also influence the housing strategy Homes for
Harlow, these include:

      Harlow Regeneration Programme 2003-2013: regenerating Harlow through
      partnership working
      Supporting People Position Statement for Harlow District Council and Essex
      County Council‟s Supporting People Strategic Steer – identifying and meeting the
      needs of people who need support to live independently.
      Harlow Council‟s Homelessness Strategy 2003-2007 – tackling and preventing
      homelessness
      Investing In Harlow‟s Homes: Harlow‟s Housing Revenue Account Business Plan
      2004 – 2007 – the funding and management of Harlow Council‟s homes.
      Equal Lives – Essex County Council‟s strategy for people with physical disabilities
      and sensory impairment
      Harlow‟s Primary Care Trust Health Improvement Plan – meeting the healthcare
      needs of local people.

      The diagram below graphically demonstrates the influences on the Housing
      Strategy and its interaction with nation, regional and major local strategies:




                                             12
4.8 Consultation & Stakeholder Views
As part of the consultation on this strategy, the Homes for Harlow Housing Strategy
Conference was held in January 2004. A number of workshops were held on the day
and people encouraged to feedback their views to ensure that the strategy was
focussing on the right themes, bringing together the national, regional and local
priorities and addressing the most significant issues under the four strategic housing
themes for Harlow. Consultees:

Registered Social Landlords
Home Housing Group / Warden Housing         East Thames Housing Group / Network
Assoc.                                      East Foyers
Moat Housing Group                          Swan Housing Group
Springboard Housing Assoc.                  Anglia Housing Group

Public and Statutory Agencies
Essex County Council Social Services        Harlow District Council Planning Service
Essex County Council Supporting People      Harlow District Council Environmental
Team                                        Health Service
Harlow District Council Regeneration        Harlow Primary Care Trust
Service
Harlow College                              Sure Start Harlow
Essex Probation Service
Statutory Groups and Partnerships
Harlow 2020 – Local Strategic               Safer Harlow Partnership


                                          13
Partnership

Voluntary Agencies and Groups
SHELTER – Essex and Herts.                 Harlow Accommodation Project
Nacro

Residents Groups
Town-wide Tenant Advisory Group

Politicians and Political Groups
Harlow Liberal Democrat Group              Harlow Labour Group
Harlow Conservative Group                  Bill Rammell MP

The key points from our consultation exercises are shown below. The items in italics
show the actions we are taking or have built into this strategy as a result of
consultees views:

Affordable Homes
   Providing more affordable homes should be “the highest priority” for the Council.
   Recognised at National, Regional and Local level as a priority
   There should be a long-term analysis of local housing need. What would be the
   consequences to changes in the housing market? How would this affect the
   demand and supply of affordable housing?
   Housing Needs Survey to be undertaken Spring 2004 as local priority
   Undertake a survey of all sites that could possibly be used for the development of
   more affordable homes.
   „Land Bank‟ to be created of all possible sites, including garage sites as local
   priority
   Explore possibilities such as flats above shops and offices, leasing from the
   private sector, use of brown-field sites, allotment sites.
   Plans to develop private sector Empty Homes Strategy and explore opportunities
   for Private Sector Leasing by RSLs as local and national priority
   Is there a need for a night-shelter?
   Plans to develop single person‟s homelessness strategy and investigate need for
   emergency access to accommodation as local priority

Decent Homes
   The council needs to have liaison with Housing Associations to establish if
     they are on target to meet these standards.
   Plans to Develop joint working protocols and standards with local RSL’s as
     local and national priority
   More work is needed to ensure that vulnerable people in the private sector are
     identified
   Plans to Review with other services the Council’s role in relation to private
     sector housing to develop a comprehensive private sector housing strategy as
     a local and regional priority.
   Need to have a long-term plan, linking with both RSLs and the private sector.
   Plans to develop joint working protocols and standards with RSLs as local and
     national priority.



                                         14
Homes for All
   Supported Housing recognised as having an important role in promoting social
    inclusion.
   Recognised as a priority at national, regional and local levels
   Needs to be a range of options that includes both supported housing and
    independent living with floating support and / or adaptations.
   Plans to develop a range of services, e.g. for young people leaving care, older
    people leaving hospital and schemes developed through Essex Strategic
    Reserve as local and regional priority
   Better publicity of existing services for local agencies would contribute to best
    use of resources, encourage more partnership working and help to clarify what
    gaps exist.
   Plans to work in partnership with PCT, ECC Older People’s Team and Moat
    Care & Repair to provide efficient services for vulnerable older people as local,
    regional and national priority
   Need for a dedicated team with appropriate skills to lead and co-ordinate
    regeneration of local communities.
   Plan to work with Regeneration Team to develop area based regeneration
    projects aligned with sustainable estates priorities as local priority.
   Encourage diverse and balanced communities through the development of
    more Homes for Life.
   Planned review of exiting Occupational Therapist role in Housing Strategy
    team, including Good Practice with regard to meeting the needs of those with
    physical disabilities and sensory impairments as local and regional priority.
   Promote choice for existing and future tenants.
   Plans to introduce Choice Based Letting and develop a range of affordable
    housing including intermediate housing as local and regional priority.
   Involving residents in the re-development of neighbourhoods, e.g. when
    consulting for planning.
   Plans to Consult with residents of Northbrooks estate on the outcome of the
    community consultation exercise and agree a way forward as local priority.

Community Matters
   The Council should continue to build upon the well-established network of
    community involvement that already exists in the town.
   Everyone should be invited to contribute.
   Avoid the risk of having too many groups that could lead to confusion and
    apathy.
   Information needs to be presented clearly so everyone can understand, for
    example leaflets and application forms.
   Plans to produce and publish Customer Service Standards for Homelessness,
    Allocations and Housing Strategy team’s targets and performance as local
    priority.

4.9 Harlow’s Housing Priorities
In deciding our key priorities for the strategy, we therefore took account of:
    The National Sustainable Communities Plan, The Regional and Sub-Regional
    Housing Strategies and Harlow‟s own Housing Strategy.



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   The Council‟s key priorities as outlined in the Statement of Intent and those of the
   Local Strategic Partnership as expressed through the Community Plan – Harlow
   2020 Vision.
    The way that the Council‟s own housing stock can contribute to meting the
      strategic housing priorities.
    The information detailed as part of the Housing Revenue Business Plan, such
      as the stock condition survey and making best use of financial resources.
    Issues of greatest importance to tenants, leaseholders and other stakeholder
      agencies as expressed through research findings, consultation and joint
      working.
    The issues that we know we have to develop because we have identified them
      through internal monitoring and reviews

Through close working with our colleagues within the Council and in our partner
organisations, we have refined the priorities and actions that flow through our
Harlow‟s Statement of Intent and the Harlow 2020 Vision into four key strategic
themes for housing in Harlow. These priorities are also linked to and consistent with
the broader national and regional priorities:

      Affordable Homes – Meeting local housing needs
      Decent Homes – Improving the condition of Harlow‟s homes
      Homes for All – promoting social inclusion and regenerating communities
      Community Matters – Empowering stakeholders

Each of these four themes are clearly inter-related and an aim of this strategy is to
bring about a balanced improvement in a range of areas, rather than focus on one
issue at the expense of another. Therefore, each of these priorities have equal
importance.

4.10 How We Deliver Priorities and Monitor Outcomes
The value of Homes for Harlow will be determined by what it can actually deliver for
Harlow‟s community. In order to deliver each of the strategic housing priorities set out
above, we have developed an action plan. The action plan provides greater details
on the activities we intend to undertake to deliver these priorities. Detail on all of the
activities summarised below can be found in the Housing Revenue Account Business
Plan Action Plan that is shown at appendix VII.

Homes for Harlow and the Action Plan feed into the Council‟s Service Planning
Processes. Each area of the Housing Service (and other services) has a plan setting
out the activities it will undertake to deliver the overall priorities and the actions set
out in this plan. Service plans are then translated into Personal Performance Plans
for each member of staff, setting out their targets and priorities to deliver the
objectives set out in this strategy.




                                           16
Homes for Harlow and the Action Plan it contains are monitored through a variety of
methods. Personal Performance Plans and Service Plans are monitored by senior
managers on a regular basis to ensure targets and objectives are being delivered.
Monitoring of the Action Plan will also be regularly reported to the Councils Housing
Committee to ensure Members are able to effectively monitor the progress against
the priorities. The Housing Strategy team undertakes a complete review of the Action
Plan every six months, updating the progress that has been made. Not only does this
help to make sure that these objectives are delivered, it also gives an opportunity to
identify where unforeseen problems may arise and if additional resources are
required. The action plan will be published on the Council‟s website and updated
after each review to reflect the progress.

The best indicator of whether the Council is doing a good job is feedback from those
people that benefit from their services. Examples of this include a Customer
Satisfaction Survey for people presenting as homeless. The Council is also planning
to introduce a post-occupancy survey for families housed in newly developed
schemes to monitor how well their needs have been met in the design of new homes.

This also applies to those that the Council are working in partnership with; feedback
from service users is a fundamental part of the Supporting People reviews of
supported housing services in the area and can be useful in planning improvements
in existing schemes. An improved level of monitoring customer satisfaction will also
be a requirement of RSLs as part of the revision to the existing Harlow Social
Housing Partnership agreement, which will be undertaken during 2004.

Feedback is sought through existing channels that are appropriate for each task, for
example this may include tenant representatives as part of the Tenant Empowerment
Strategy, other agencies such as those represented at the Homelessness Forum or
Supporting People Local Core Strategy Group, or at a regional and national level
through the recording of performance indicators.

Being linked to other strategies will also provide a wider network, such as the
Homelessness Forum or the Supporting People Local Core Strategy Group that can
measure the delivery of relevant actions.

4.11 Reviewing and Updating our Housing Strategy

Homes for Harlow is not a one off document. Equally, housing issues nationally,
regionally and locally are constantly changes. Consequently, Homes for Harlow and
its action plan cannot stand still, but need to be regularly reviewed and updated to
take account of changes in the local housing market and the views of stakeholders.

The steps we will take to review and update Homes for Harlow have been included at
the beginning of our action plan (see appendix 8VII below). As part of our process of
review and update, we actively encourage feedback from members of Harlow‟s
community and other stakeholders.

If you have a view on this housing strategy or wish to comment or get involved in any
of the review and updating activities, please contact the Housing Strategy Team (for
details please see appendix 8VIII below).


                                          17
18
4.12 Partnerships to Deliver Priorities
Understanding and meeting housing need across the community is not possible
without good working relationships with a number of other agencies. This includes
statutory agencies such as Social Care, the Primary Care Trust and the Probation
Service where their work overlaps with housing. These broad strategic overlaps are
identified and reflected through the Local Strategic Partnership, mentioned above.

In delivering affordable housing, Harlow Council has selected a number of RSLs as
their preferred partners. This approach was innovative when first adopted by the
Council but is now increasingly popular, recognised as a way of creating better
opportunities through joint working. Not only is it easier for the Council to monitor
and support the development of affordable housing in the district with a selected
group of RSLs, there is also the added advantage that having selected partners, the
Council can play a more active role in co-ordinating the work of these RSLs with
other wider strategic aims of the community. An example of this is a proposed self-
build scheme that will complement the local regeneration agenda by providing
employment and training opportunities as well as affordable housing, giving more
value for money.

In recognition of the changes that have taken place since the Council‟s Preferred
Partnership Agreement was originally established, this will be reviewed as part of this
strategy‟s action plan, recognising the increasing scope that RSLs have to work in
partnership not just with the Council but other statutory and voluntary agencies.

The Council is also working in partnership with neighbouring authorities to deliver
affordable housing. The BAA Stansted Partnering Pilot sees Harlow, Uttlesford,
Braintree and East Herts. District Councils working with BAA Stansted and the
Housing Corporation to deliver affordable homes across all four authorities with
shared nomination rights.

Effective partnerships also allow the Council to work more effectively in areas that
the Council has not traditionally been involved with in the past. An example of this is
the Council‟s support of the local Home Improvement Agency – Moat Care & Repair.
As the majority of the town‟s population (approximately 70%) are either owner-
occupiers or living in other forms within the private sector, this is an invaluable
service.

More information about the services available from the local Home Improvement
Agency can be found on their organisation‟s website - www.moat.co.uk/data/careandrepair/




                                            19
5 Affordable Homes & Housing Markets
5.1   Harlow’s Diverse Housing Market

Harlow‟s housing areas were designed on area or neighbourhood structures,
separated by areas of light industry and „green wedges‟. Two types of ownership
dominate the housing market: the Council owns just over 30% of all the housing in
the town, whilst over 60% is owner-occupied. Housing Associations and private
landlords own a relatively small proportion, at 5% and 4% respectively.
Harlow has two major areas of new housing development – Church Langley which
has been under construction since the early 1990‟s and New Hall, which began
construction in 2001 and once complete will add a further 2,800 owner occupied and
rented homes to the town‟s housing stock.

5.2   Affording a Home in Harlow – House Prices, Rents and Incomes

Home Ownership
House prices increased during 2002/2003, the last year for which figures are
available. Overall, the average price for a terraced house (the most common type of
property in Harlow) in the period from January to March 2003 was £135,630. This is
an increase of £29,500 (28%) from the price for the same period the year before and
means that a household with a 5% deposit would need an income of £43,000 per
year to afford a mortgage for an average house in Harlow.

Over the same period, the average price of a flat in Harlow rose by £25,000 (35%) to
£95,000. To afford a flat in Harlow, a household with 5% deposit would therefore
require an income of £30,000 p.a. Nearly three quarters (74%) of households in
Harlow earn less than £25,000 per year and would not therefore be able to purchase
a home on the open market at current prices.

The rising cost of buying a home in Harlow
  Type of Home Average Average Cash                   %        Deposit  Annual
                    Price     Price     Increase      Increase Required Salary
                    Jan-Mar Jan-Mar                            5%       Required
                    ‘03       ‘02                                       (x3)
  Detached          £269,914 £209,887 £60,027         28.6%    £13,496  £85,473
  Semi-detached £179,789 £138,766 £41,023             29.6%    £8,989   £56,933
  Terraced          £135,634 £106,124 £29,510         27.8%    £6,782   £42,951
  Flat/Maisonette £95,560 £70,748 £24,812             35.1%    £4,778   £30,261
  Overall           £142,089 £117,062 £25,027         21.4%    £7,104   £44,995
  Average
       (Source: HM Land Registry May 2003)



Rented Housing
As with most areas, there are three main types of landlord in Harlow – The Council,
Housing Associations and Private Landlords.




                                             20
The Government‟s subsidy system for building and maintaining Council and Housing
Association homes leads to these being able to charge a lower rent than most private
landlords. The average weekly rent for each is:

Council homes:             £54
Housing Associations:      £70
Private Landlord:          £102
(Source: Harlow District Council / Housing Corporation / Dataspring)

Government policy will lead to Council and Housing Associations changing to reach
similar levels for similar properties over the next seven years. Neither the
Government nor the Council control private rent levels.

5.3 The Demand for Affordable Homes
The rising cost of buying a home and private rent levels as outlined above result in
more people being unable to afford either. Consequently, there is a growing number
of people that want access to an affordable home, which is likely to be either a
Council or Housing Association property.

In recent years, Harlow Council has commissioned research into housing need. In
1999 the Council commissioned a general Housing Needs Survey that identified
3,343 households would fall into housing need over the period 2000 to 2005. This
could only be a prediction based upon the information that was available at the time.
By monitoring data since that time, such as the number of people on the Housing
Register and families who have been accepted as statutorily homeless (see tables
below) it is clear that the number of households in housing need may already have
exceeding the predictions from the last Housing Needs Survey. A new Housing
Needs Survey is planned for spring 2004 as an update to the last survey five years
ago.

The table below gives a very basic illustration of how the demand for affordable
housing in Harlow may have exceeded the predictions of the last Housing Needs
Survey. The figures for 2001 – 2003 are the culmination of each year‟s applicants on
the Housing and Transfer Register and families accepted as statutorily homeless.


  Identified Need 2003                                           5217

  Identified Need 2002                                   4146

  Identified Need 2001                                 3819

      Predicted Need                              3343

                         0   1000   2000   3000    4000       5000   6000




                                                  21
The changes in the housing market since the last Housing Needs Survey was
commissioned by Harlow Council in 1999 must have an impact on the demand for
affordable housing and clearly demonstrates the need to move towards a method of
monitoring and analysing trends in housing supply and demand that is on-going, as
opposed to the „snap-shot‟ that the more traditional surveys provide.

A better understanding and closer monitoring in the future of the local housing market
will help in anticipating the future trends in the demand for affordable housing. The
forthcoming Housing Needs Survey will be the first step towards developing a local
Housing Market Assessment, recognising the links between the private and public
sectors.

In addition to these broad trends in the supply and demand of housing of all tenures
in Harlow, there is also a need to continue to develop knowledge of specific areas in
order to make sure as best as possible that the needs of the whole community are
being recognised. Since the last Housing Needs Survey, the Council has
commissioned research into the housing need for „key-workers‟ (see below).

The Council has also worked in partnership with Essex County Council in mapping
the provision of supported housing services as part of the Supporting People
programme and is continuing to support work with the mapping of needs. By
balancing the current provision of supported housing against identified need, it will be
possible to get a better picture of how well existing services are meeting the needs of
the community. Inadequate provision may lead to some areas being identified as
priorities for developing services in the future.

Harlow Council has also jointly commissioned research into the housing needs of
black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in Essex. As part of Essex that has a
significantly greater proportion of a local BME population, the findings of this report
are particularly relevant for Harlow.

Further information on Supporting People can be found in Harlow Council‟s
Supporting People Position Statement and Essex County Council‟s Supporting
People Strategic Steer. Information on the housing needs of BME groups is covered
in „Facing the Facts; a base-line study of the housing and related needs of the black
and ethnic communities in Essex‟. All of these documents can be found on the
Council‟s website at www.harlow.gov.uk

Council and Housing Association Housing
During the last year there has been a marked change to the numbers of households
on the needs and transfer register. Of note is the increase in housing register
applicants requiring smaller accommodation bearing out last year‟s predicted growth
in this category.




                                           22
Housing Needs and Transfer Registers – 2001/2003
Size Required          April April      April Change               Change
                       2001    2002     2003 over 3                over 3
                                              years                years - %
Housing Needs Register 1,905 2,168 3,060 + 1,155                   + 61%
Housing Transfer       1,127 1,180 1,187 + 60                      + 5%
Sheltered Housing List 584     469      620   + 36                 + 6%
Total                  3616    3817     4867 + 1251

Homelessness in Harlow
The Council produced its Homelessness Strategy in July 2003. The analysis it
contains and the objectives and targets it set out are summarised within this strategy.
Homelessness is a major issue in Harlow; between 2000/01 and 2002/03 the number
of households accepted as homeless by the Council rose by 42%. The Council
accepted a duty to assist 350 households, an increase of 230 from the previous year.
Of these, 155 households were families with children and, of these 105 were lone
parent households.

185 households were judged to be not homeless and 163 were judged not to be in
priority need. Relationship breakdown and eviction by parents, relatives and friends
account for approximately two-thirds of homeless acceptances by the Council.
Providing temporary accommodation for homeless households continues to be a
significant issue for Harlow. As at 31st March 2003 there were 531 households living
in temporary accommodation. Of these, 15 households were living in Bed and
Breakfast accommodation.

The table below shows a comparison of homelessness approaches, acceptances
and households in temporary accommodation between 2000/01 and 2002/03:

Homeless Approaches and Acceptances 2000/01 to 2002/03
                Households      Households         Households in
                approaching as accepted as         temporary
                homeless        homeless, in       accommodation
                                priority need      as at 31st March
                                with local
                                connection
                                (ratio % of
                                approaches)
2000/01               425           203 (48%)             384
2001/02               735           329 (46%)             419
2002/03               738          350 (47.5%)            531
% Increase over      42%               42%               38.5%
three years

In addition to those households who qualify for help from the Council, there are a
significant number of single people and childless couples that the Council can only
provide advice and help in finding a home, temporary or otherwise. Harlow has some
medium-term accommodation for people who do not have a secure home and cannot
access an affordable home through the Council or Housing Associations.



                                          23
Key Worker Housing Demand
In late 2002 the Council commissioned a study into the demand for Key Worker
housing in Harlow. The survey sampled 500 Harlow employees (both public and
private) earning less than £30,000 pa to assess their current and future housing
requirements and their standing as key workers. The research was supported with in
depth interviews of employers to obtain additional qualitative information.
The survey found that most workers who came into this category were aged 25-34
and lived in two-person households within 18 miles of their Harlow workplace. Lower
paid workers tended to live within the Harlow boundaries but the more skilled higher
paid workers prefer to commute to Harlow, rather than live nearer to work. The
survey found high levels of mobility within this group with 60% living at their present
address for less than five years and 21% for less than one year.
Employers considered all workers to be „key‟ on the basis of the difficulties faced
recruiting appropriately skilled staff , and the tendency in recent years to adopt more
efficient organisational structures. The survey found that 62% of those responding
currently lived with friends or family and 15% rent from a private landlord.

The conclusions of the survey are that nearly 28% of newly formed households who
wanted to move within the next five years had joint incomes of below £30,000. When
grossed up to reflect the whole working population this meant that 5,338 working
households could not afford entry level home-ownership (at present salary levels)
over the next five years, and three-quarters of these were single person households.
As 62% surveyed were looking for homes in Harlow, this indicates that 3,400 key
worker households could be seeking affordable housing units over the next five years
or 680 per year. The survey identified the following types of housing being required
by childless key worker housing as one or two bedroom flats / maisonettes for single
people/couples and a mixture of low cost ownership and sub-market rental.

More information on the affordability of and the demand for homes in Harlow can be
found at appendix 8II

5.4 The Supply of Affordable Homes
The supply of affordable homes in Harlow comes from two sources:
   Council owned housing
   New and re-let housing from Registered Social Landlords (RSLs)

The Council remains the main source of affordable housing; a description of the
Council‟s stock can be seen in 6.3 below. In 2002/03 the Council let 639 homes that
became vacant. During the same period, RSLs let 96 homes. In addition, RSLs were
also able to provide over the same period 11 homes for sale under low-cost home
ownership arrangements.

We are continuing to maximise the supply of affordable housing in order to meet the
housing needs in Harlow. We are also plan to overhaul the way the Council deals
with empty homes to improve our performance in turning around short and long term
empty Council homes. We are also continuing to work in partnership with Registered
Social Landlords (RSLs) and the Housing Corporation to develop new affordable
social housing to meet this growing need.




                                          24
In April 2003 the Government abolished the Local Authority Social Housing Grant
(LASHG) system. LASHG enabled Councils to contribute funding to developments by
RSLs of new affordable housing developments that are directly funded by the
Housing Corporation. The abolition of LASHG left the Council and its partners with a
number of new housing schemes that could not progress as a result, the Council took
the decision to use its own capital resources to fund these developments by RSLs in
order to ensure the planned provision of affordable housing.

However, in striving to achieve our aim of developing more affordable housing we
have not lost sight of the need to create sustainable communities enabling people to
have access to homes that have a low impact on the environment and are cost
effective to live in.

Supply of New Affordable Housing
              2000/01      2001/02             2002/03
Properties        85         144                 30
for rent
Shared            32          3                  13
Ownership
Total            117         147                 43

Access to Affordable Housing 2002-03
Source                   Available to Let
Council Homes            639
RSL Homes                96
Total                    735

5.5 New Affordable Housing
Using Planning Powers
Like most other Councils, Harlow seeks to use its planning powers to ensure that
affordable housing is provided within new housing developments and regeneration
projects.
Our aims in this regard are detailed in the Councils draft deposit local plan, which
identifies the sites within Harlow that could potentially be developed for new housing
and sets out the Council‟s policy in relation to affordable housing.
The draft plan shows that the Council‟s policy is to provide at least 30% affordable
housing on sites of 15 or more homes. The Council‟s Housing and Planning Services
work closely with each other, developers and Registered Social Landlords to deliver
this policy.

Growth Area and the Harlow Gateway Housing Scheme
In 2003 the Government‟s Sustainable Communities Plan identified Harlow as being
part of a proposed area of housing growth known as the London-Stansted-
Cambridge corridor. In mid 2003, the Government awarded the Council and its
partners funding of £12 million to undertake activities aligned to the growth area. This
funding is being used to undertake research and master planning activities in relation
to the potential for housing growth in Harlow.




                                          25
           The main part of the funding is being utilised to „unlock‟ two major housing sites in
           Harlow – the current Sports Centre and Harlow Pool sites. The funding assists the
           relocation of leisure faculties currently located on the two sites, thereby releasing
           land for the development of around 530 new homes. Of these new homes, 30% will
           be affordable housing available to people in housing need in Harlow, producing up
           160 affordable homes in the period 2005 to 2008.

           Future Affordable Housing Supply
           The table below sets out the current known sources of new affordable housing in
           Harlow over the 2004 – 2007. Similar tables showing the production and funding of
           affordable housing in 2002/03 and 2003/04 can be found in appendix 8IV below.

           Affordable Housing Supply & Funding Sources 2004 - 07

                                                                  Number                      Funding Sources
  Scheme                                       Tenure
                                                                  of Units         Local Authority     Housing Corporation
                                                                                    PFI Nil Public        PFI Nil Public
      Princess Alexandra Hospital            Key worker              236
                                                                                      Subsidy                Subsidy
        Temporary Housing for
                                               Rented                15                £60,000                         -
          Homeless Families
              Home-buy                  Shared Ownership             20                  -                        £807,987
         Harlow Womens Aid                 Supported                 12                  -                       £1,260,000
         Empty Property P&R                  Rented                   8               £377,500                        -
                                         Rented /shared
               Berecroft                  ownership/key            5+3+2              £592,100                         -
                                            Workers
                                         Rented / shared
         Briars Regeneration                                       10 + 2                  -                      £693,000
                                           ownership
        Self-build Regeneration              Rented                  14                    -                     £1,125,404
         Harlow Poor‟s Charity             Supported                  4                    -                      £163,597
       Harlow Gateway Housing
                                          Rented/Shared
                Scheme                                            138 + 21                 -                  £2,000,000 (tbc)
                                           Ownership
                 (s106)
               New Hall
                                          Rented/Shared
               Phase 2 i                                          195 +30                      Yet to be determined
                                           Ownership
                 (s106)
       BAA Stansted Partnering            Rented/Shared            154 +
                                                                                               Yet to be determined
               Pilot ii                    Ownership                130

         Harlow Station Site         Rented/Shared
                                                          22 + 4                  Yet to be determined
               (s106)ii                Ownership
         Autistic Behaviour            Supported             8                 -                    £608,452
   Total Rented                                            407            £733,550                 £2,202,904
   Total Shared Ownership                                   80            £177,630                 £1,423,487
   Total Key Worker                                        238            £118,420                     PFI
   Total Supported Housing                                  24                 -                   £2,032,049
   Total                                                   749           £1,029,600                £5,658,440
i.        The figures quoted for New Hall phase 2 & Harlow Station Site are indicative as the actual number of
          homes to be constructed has yet to be agreed. Consequently, affordable housing funding figures have
          yet to be determined.
ii.        BAA Stansted Partnering Pilot involves Harlow, East Hertfordshire and Braintree District Council‟s. Sites, total
           figures and funding has yet to be agreed.

Our action plan, which can be found at Appendix VII sets out the actions we plan to take to
deliver our priorities for affordable homes.



                                                                   26
6    Decent Homes – Improving the Condition of Harlow’s
    Homes

6.1 The Condition of Housing in Harlow and the Decent Homes Standard
As outlined earlier, Harlow was built over a period from 1950 to 1980 therefore the
vast majority of homes in Harlow are less than 60 years old. Consequently, most of
them are in reasonably good condition however, a significant number of the homes in
Harlow are beginning to show signs of repair problems and, because of the period in
which they were built, now need major internal and external renewals and
improvements.

The Government‟s Decent Homes Standard set out a range of minimum standards
for all homes owned by public landlords such as Councils and Registered Social
Landlords. To meet this standard a home must:

    Be above the fitness standard for housing
    Be in a reasonable state of repair
    Have modern facilities and services (e.g. kitchens and bathrooms)
    Be reasonably warm.

The Government requires the homes owned by all public landlords to comply with the
Decent Homes Standard by 2010 and reduce by one-third the number of non-decent
homes by 2004.

6.2 Privately Owned Homes
Privately owned homes make up the majority of housing available in Harlow.
In 2000, the Council commissioned a survey of private sector house condition and
energy efficiency. The survey found that, overall the condition of housing in the
private sector is above that of an average district council area. This is due to its
relatively recent construction. However, there is evidence that the condition of the
private sector is deteriorating with an estimated repairs backlog of £5.3 million. Half
of one percent of the private stock is estimated to be „unfit‟ (see below).

The survey revealed that there are significant numbers of households on low
incomes and in receipt of means tested benefits. In such circumstances it is less
likely that households will be able to fund solutions to repair themselves, leading to
maintenance problems and ultimately intervention and assistance by the Council will
be necessary. The survey also found that the condition of private rented property is
poorer that that of owner occupied property.




                                           27
       The Government is making changes to the way Councils measure the condition of
       private housing. The present system involves an assessment of whether a home is
       „unfit for human habitation‟. This system is known as the „fitness standard‟ and to be
       „fit‟ a home has to be reasonably suitable for occupation, including being in a
       reasonable state of repair and have decent lighting, heating, bathing, toilet and
       cooking facilities. The Government is replacing this system with a mechanism to
       check for faults in homes and assess how dangerous they are to the health and
       safety of someone living in the home, visiting it, neighbours or people passing by it.
       This new system called the Health and Safety Rating System, gives each home a
       hazard score, which is based on the likelihood of the hazard occurring, how serious it
       would be if the hazard occurred and the risk to health and safety. The higher the
       score the greater the hazard to health and safety.

       The Government has also changed the way that Councils can help with grants for
       properties that are „unfit‟ or have repair problems. From April 2003, Councils stopped
       giving renovation and home repair assistance grants but are able to give other help,
       such as loans, grants, loan guarantees, materials or labour.
       In response to these changes, Harlow District Council developed an interim private
       sector housing strategy. We shall, over the course of the next year, develop a more
       comprehensive strategy for responding to the needs of private sector housing in
       Harlow.

       6.3 Council Owned Homes
       The Council is by far the largest single owner of homes in Harlow, making up over
       30% of the homes in Harlow.

       The Council owns over 10,500 homes, of these 40% are flats and 60% are houses or
       bungalows of which 15% were built using non-traditional construction methods. As
       many were built around the same time, many of the Council‟s properties are
       simultaneously encountering the same problems, producing an unusually high
       concentration of demand for repair and replacement of homes.

                                                      Age of Properties
Traditional houses and     Pre 1945        1945-64       1965-74     Post 1974 All ages
bungalows
1-2 Bedrooms                  23              1991          220         2476
3 bedrooms +                  156             2103          493          307         3059
Non-traditional houses and     0               520          363           91          974
bungalows
Flats
Low rise (1-2 storeys)         7               963          271          509          1750
Medium rise (3-5 storeys)     24              1048          555          244          1871
High rise (6+ storeys)         0               147          202           37           386
Total dwellings               210             6772         2104         1430         10516

       Our stock condition survey originally found that 2,574 of the Council‟s properties
       failed to meet one or more of the criteria that make up the standard. The Council is
       currently in the top quartile performance for district Council‟s in achieving the DHS
       targets. At 1 April 2003 the number of non decent homes was 2024.



                                                 28
The Council‟s targets for achieving this are set out in the table below. The numbers
of non decent homes shall be no greater than identified in the following table, which
shows the target for the maximum non decent homes at 1st April each year:

Year       2004         2005      2006       2007      2008       2009      2010
Properties 1624         1300      1000       600       300        0         0

The condition of the Council‟s housing stock does not stand still. Homes, which
originally met the Decent Homes Standard, may fail to do so over time and homes
that originally failed to meet the standard may do so as a result of works carried out
to them. In order to address this, the Council assesses the works its homes will
require over a thirty-year period. This includes works required to ensure the
Government target of all homes meeting the standard by 2010 is met and works to
ensure that all homes continue to meet the standard.

We are currently conducting an „options appraisal‟ on the ways in which we can meet
the Government‟s decent homes target. This assessment involves examining four
options for the future of the Council‟s housing stock:
        The Council retaining the housing stock
        Transferring all or part of the Council‟s housing stock to a RSL
        Establishing an Arms Length Management Organisation
   Establishing a Private Finance Initiative for the housing stock.

In the summer of 2003, the Council sought tenants and leaseholders views on these
options through a „Test of Opinion‟. Unfortunately, only a small proportion of tenants
and leaseholders expressed a view (22%), but of those that did, a significant majority
(89%) expressed their wish to remain with the Council as their landlord.

The Decent Homes Standard only measures a limited amount of repairs and
improvements to homes and is, in the Council‟s view, a basic standard for modern
homes to meet. It does not take into account the broader wishes of Council tenants
for improvements to homes and housing areas. Consequently, the Council has taken
the view that its programme of works will not just be limited to those necessary to
meet the DHS target. The programmes include works designed to meet tenants
wishes for improvements and to help build the overall sustainability of Council owned
homes and housing areas.

The Council is therefore looking closely at area-based solutions to these issues,
through its regeneration focus programme. Further details about the programme for
regeneration can be found in the Harlow Regeneration Programme.
Full details of the repairs and improvements need for the Council‟s homes and the
costs of carrying out the work are set out in the sister document to this strategy, our
Housing Revenue Account Business Plan „Investing in Harlow‟s Homes‟, which can
be found at http://www.harlow.gov.uk/Default.aspx?sID=860.




                                           29
7 Homes for All – Social Inclusion and Regeneration
7.1 Promoting Independence – Supported Housing and Supporting People
Harlow has an extensive range of supported housing services and the Council has a
long track record in developing services with its partners. There are currently over 60
supported housing schemes and services in Harlow offering over 1,600 bed spaces.
The bulk of current provision is sheltered housing for older people, but there are a
significant number of services targeted at other groups of people.

The 1st April 2003 saw the introduction of the new Supporting People system for
funding and commissioning housing related support services. Harlow works
collaboratively with Essex County Council and the other 11 district councils in Essex
to operate the Supporting People programme in the County.

Up to the introduction of Supporting People, our activities concentrated on delivering
the tasks required for implementation and producing new services to maximise the
range of supported housing services available to Harlow residents. As part of this
activity, we worked with RSL partners to instigate a new floating support service
specifically targeted at people experiencing homelessness, to help them make the
transition from temporary or short-term accommodation, into permanent housing in
the community.

The Supporting People programme has now moved on from its initial implementation
phase and is progressing into what is known as „steady state‟ activities. We have
now constructed our local, five year Supporting People position statement, that feeds
into the over arching Essex wide five year Supporting People strategy. We are now
at a stage where all supported housing schemes in the district have either been
subject to a review of the quality of the services they provide or are aware of when
this will happen.

Harlow‟s Supporting People Position Statement has been produced through
consultation with members of the Local Core Strategy Group. This group comprises
representatives from the Council, Social Services, Harlow Primary Care Trust, the
Probation Service, the voluntary sector and others. The intention is that by having
input from these key agencies who are involved locally with supporting vulnerable
people, it is possible to take a more holistic and joined up approach to both
identifying local needs and the best way of responding to them.

For Harlow, our key Supporting People priorities were identified through consultation
with a range of local agencies, in particular those represented on the Supporting
People Local Core Strategy Group. They are by client group:
     Older People - Harlow has a large demand for sheltered accommodation (and
       an ageing population) – indicating even greater demand in the future with
       higher levels of need, including dementia.
     With the largest black and minority ethnic communities in Essex, the future
       needs of older people from specific minority groups figure in our priorities.
    People with Learning Difficulties - Although Harlow has a high provision of
    supported housing for people with learning difficulties, more supported housing is
    needed.



                                          30
   People with Mental Health Problems - Harlow has a high number of supported
   housing schemes for people with mental health problems, however these tend to
   provide short-term solutions. Consequently, longer term supported housing is a
   priority.
   Women Escaping Domestic Violence - Harlow has a high number of supported
   housing schemes for women escaping domestic violence, provided through
   Harlow and Broxbourne Women‟s Aid. However, there is a need to improve the
   standard and suitability of some existing properties.
   Young People at Risk/Leaving Care -There is currently no specific provision for
   this group in Harlow (although they are accommodated and supported through
   other young persons schemes). Harlow is working closely with Essex County
   Council Social Services to promote opportunities for this group, including the
   development of a supported lodgings scheme.
   People with Drug and/or Alcohol Problems -There is currently no specific
   provision for this group in Harlow, but it is recognised as a priority area through
   the Essex Strategic Reserve programme.
    People at Risk of Offending/ Ex-Offenders - Single Homeless People -
    There is currently no emergency, direct access supported housing for single
       homeless people and people at risk of offending in Harlow. It appears that this
       is an area that needs to be investigated to establish the actual demand and
       type of service that is required; this is something that will be undertaken over
       the next year.

Supporting People is a major part of delivering supported housing in Harlow, but it is
not the sole part. Many of those involved with referring people to these short-term
supported housing schemes have commented on the need to ensure that „move-on‟
accommodation is available in order to maintain a through-put of people and maintain
a much needed supply supported housing.

In recognition of this, one major initiative we have undertaken is the introduction of a
specific „move-on‟ quota within the Council‟s housing allocation system. This quota is
designed to provide 30 homes per year to enable individuals within short term
supported accommodation to move on to Council housing or RSL homes in order to
promote their continued development into independent living. By preventing a log-
jam within these schemes, this initiative will also help to ensure that the Council and
the wider community can make the most efficient use of these services.

7.2 Tackling Homelessness
The Homelessness Act 2002 took effect from 31st July 2002 and placed a duty upon
local authorities to adopt a strategic approach to responding to and preventing
homelessness in their areas. This included a local review of homelessness and the
publication of a five-year strategy aimed at tackling the key issues that have been
identified.
The Council organised two Homelessness Review Days in August 2002 and January
2003, giving local organisations an opportunity to work together on the objectives of
the strategy, which can be summarised as:
   Predicting current and future levels of homelessness
   Prevention of Homelessness
   Increasing the supply of accommodation
   Identifying support services


                                           31
    Developing a multi-agency approach to tackling homelessness
    Improving the standards of services offered to homeless people
Some of the issues identified and included within the Homelessness Strategies
action plan are equally relevant to the Housing Strategy and the wider community, for
example the need for more affordable housing and there are therefore strong links
between the two strategies. For this reason some of the tasks from the
Homelessness Strategy have been carried over and incorporated into the action plan
for this strategy as well.

More detailed information can be found in Harlow Council‟s Homelessness Strategy
2003 to 2007, which is available on the councils website at
http://www.harlow.gov.uk/Default.aspx?sID=826.

7.3 Regeneration Focus – Harlow’s Neighbourhood Renewal Programme
Under the guidance of the Local Strategic Partnership, Harlow 2020, the Council has
developed a neighbourhood regeneration strategy. This is focused on the old ward
boundaries of areas within Harlow that have the highest rank of deprivation under the
Indices of Deprivation (2000). Rooted in analysis of local social and physical
conditions a regeneration area has been identified focusing on themes of:
        Physical Renewal
        Skills Development
        Improved Service Provision
        Business Development
The information obtained through analysing the deprivation indices has then been
complimented by our own comprehensive analysis of our housing estates.
Information on housing stock condition, desirability and suitability has been collated
to produce a „sustainability index‟ for each estate. This has been combined with
deprivation indices and the product is a list of priority areas for intervention.
These priorities areas are incorporated into our Regeneration Focus Programme.
Through the programme, we have identified key areas in which we will target
consultative and development activity, both in terms of housing renewal and broader
social and economic regeneration.

We are currently piloting this approach in three main areas:
    The Briars
    Northbrooks
    Ryecroft

These areas present different challenges and scope and are running to differing
timescales. This ranges from a „from scratch‟ whole estate consultative exercise
involving an Independent Tenants Advisor in the case of the Northbrooks estate,
through to community involvement in the redevelopment of existing, unsuitable
housing stock and land areas in the case of the Briars and Ryecroft.

We are refining our estate sustainability index to incorporate other factors, such as
the views and aspirations of residents. As we update the sustainability index, we are
realigning our regeneration focus programme to target those areas now identified as
being in most need of help.




                                          32
8     Community Matters - Stakeholders and Partnerships

8.1 Listening to Harlow’s People
Harlow Council has undertaken a major overhaul of the way it consults with and
engages people who live in the Town.

Following the re-organisation of the Council‟s ward boundaries and political
arrangements, the Council created 11 ward based Community partnerships. These
groups act as a focus for discussion between the Council and the residents of the
town on both local and town wide issues. To provide a resource and support for
these groups, the Council has created Community Link Officer roles, whose task is to
develop community involvement at all levels within the wards and across the town.
The Community Partnership groups span all ages, genders and ethnicity and all
tenures. They do not exclusively debate tenant or leaseholder issues, but these
matters are not barred from discussion.

In addition, the Council has created a single point of contact for people seeking
services or advice form the Council. The Contact Harlow service offers telephone,
email or walk in access for residents. Contact Harlow also employs the latest
customer relations information technology, enabling the Council to record service
requests and complaints and analyse to inform decision making and them for future
service priorities.

In 2003, the Council commenced a major redesign of its website. Ultimately, it will
offer interactive services to residents and customers of the Council. As part of this
activity, the Housing Service is reviewing all the information placed on it and, in the
longer term, are looking to develop the ability to provide on-line interactive services,
such as housing applications etc.

We have undertaken detailed consultation on this strategy (see paragraph 4.8
above). However, consultation does not stop there. We are in the process of
implementing a Housing Focus Group, which will be made up of representative
residents from across Harlow. This group will be used to test the views of residents
on housing issues and to measure the perception of residents on the targets and
improvements we have set out in this strategy.


8.2 Listening to Our Tenants and Leaseholders
The Council is the largest landlord in the town and a third of the town‟s residents live
in Council owned homes. Consequently, we need to understand the views of our
tenants and leaseholders about the services we provide and our plans and priorities.
We have undertaken a review of the structure of our tenant representation system,
designed specifically to improve the role tenants and leaseholders have in monitoring
our performance as a landlord.




                                           33
In 2002, the Council provided funding to tenant representative groups to enable them
to commission a survey of tenant and leaseholder views and aspirations. Our tenants
commissioned a survey into the satisfaction with our housing services. In the summer
of 2003, the Council, though an Independent tenants Adviser, undertook a „Test of
Opinion‟ on future options for the Council‟s housing stock. The test incorporated a
further opportunity for tenants and leaseholders to express views about Council
housing services, priorities and improvements. The combined outcomes from these
surveys are as follows:

Tenants/Leaseholders Priorities

Tenants Survey (In no order)             Test of Opinion
                                         (In descending order of priority)
Overcrowding                             Rent/Service Charge levels
Disrepair                                Tenancy/Leasehold rights
Repairs quality                          Faster repairs
Anti social behaviour                    Tenant involvement
Estate/area cleanliness                  Resident involvement
Parking                                  Tackling anti-social behaviour
Customer care                            New rented homes for Harlow
Communication and Information            Improvements to the housing stock
Empty Homes
Improved opportunities for
involvement

In 2003, the Council introduced a newsletter for tenants. „Harlow Home‟ provides
information on all current housing matters of interest to tenants and affords tenants‟
representatives the opportunity to publish articles. Tenants are also involved in the
editorial board that monitors the content of the newsletter.

We have also introduced a Leaseholder forum, to allow leaseholders of the Council
to discuss issue of particular relevance to them. We have also begun to introduce a
revised tenant structure, giving greater representation to tenants, leaseholders and
residents associations. We have also launched neighbourhood compacts with our
tenants and leaseholders, which we are rolling out across the town. In addition, two
representatives from the Town-wide Tenant Advisory Group are now co-opted onto
our main Housing Committee.

More information on these activities can be found in our Housing Revenue Account
Business Plan, which can be found at
http://www.harlow.gov.uk/Default.aspx?sID=860

Despite these measures, we can not be complacent in seeking the views of the
people in Harlow. There may still be some groups who are less able to convey their
views, for example people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups who
historically have not always been so involved with community matters. The Council
has already jointly commissioned work into this area and is planning to develop a
BME Housing Strategy in 2004 covering housing in the private sector as well as
social housing.



                                          34
9. Resources
9.1 Council Funding

Capital Funds
Spending which gives benefits over many years, e.g. on building new homes, is
known as capital expenditure. Council capital spending on housing, both for its own
housing stock, on new housing developments and on grants to help disabled people
adapt their homes etc. have to compete with demands for capital expenditure from
other areas of council services, such as leisure, Information technology etc.

The Council prioritises its capital expenditure in accordance with its agreed priorities
through the Statement of Intent. The Council has a Capital Strategy, which sets out
how the Council prioritises capital expenditure across all its services, the Capital
Strategy is linked to the Council‟s Asset Management Plan, which sets out how the
Council will maintain and utilise the assets available to it.

The Council also has a Medium Term Financial Strategy, which sets out the council‟s
overall financial plans for the next three years.
The demands for capital expenditure on housing are:
    Funding new housing developments through RSL partners
    Providing grants for adaptations of properties to help people with disabilities
       and grants to help private residents maintain their homes
    Improvements and modernisation of the Council‟s housing stock.

Harlow is currently a „debt free‟ Council. This means that it does not fund capital
expenditure by borrowing money, but instead relies on income form the sale of
buildings and other assets. These are known as capital receipts and by far the
largest source of these receipts is from the sale of Council homes under the Right to
Buy.

From 1st April 2004, the rules governing these receipts are being altered by the
Government and debt free Council‟s like Harlow will be required to pay 75% of their
Right to Buy capital receipts into a national „pool‟, which the Government will then
distribute out to those Council‟s it determines need the funding most. For the first
three years, the Council is guaranteed to get some of what it pays in back, but this
decreases from 75% in 2004/05, down through 50% and 25% to 0% in 2007/08.

This reduction in capital receipts is likely to have an impact on the funds available to
all Council services for capital spending, but, as housing is the largest area of
Council capital spending, it is likely to be much more affected than other areas.
In 2003/04, approximately 88% of all Council capital expenditure was spent on
housing.

The table below gives a summary of the Council‟s housing capital programme for
2003/04:
                 Housing Summary Capital Programme 2003/04
                                                              £000’s
Council housing - Decent Homes Works                          10,224


                                           35
 Home Repair Assistance Grants                                         40
 Disabled Facilities Grants (Private Sector)                          200
 New Housing Association Homes                                        850
 Total                                                               11,314


  Revenue Spending
 Spending on the day-to-day costs of implementing this housing strategy is called
 revenue expenditure. Revenue expenditure falls into two, separate Council accounts:

 Housing Revenue Account – The funds in this account can only (by law) be used
 on the Council‟s activities as a landlord, such as day to day repairs, rent collection,
 caretaking etc. More details on the Housing Revenue Account can be found in the
 sister document to this strategy – The Housing Revenue Account Business Plan. A
 summary of the Council‟s 2003/04 Housing Revenue Account budget and
 expenditure is shown below:
                  Housing Revenue Account Budget Against Actuals 2003/04
                      Budget      Actual                              Budget         Actual
Expenditure              £            £     Income                      £              £
Repairs &                       £8,134,600                                        £28,187,000
Maintenance          8,024,640              Dwelling Rents           26,889,000
General                         £3,968,160                                        £2,163,000
Management           3,502,550              Garage Rents              2,133,000
Homelessness           315,580   £285,510   T/A Dwelling Rents        1,611,000    £149,360
Special Services     2,576,370              Equity Share Rents           33,000    £33,000
Rents, Rates,                     £10,000                                          £72,900
Taxes &                   5,000             Other Rents                  72,900
Other Charges           £0           £0     Heating Charges              58,970    £58,970
Rent Rebates        14,930,000  £13,487,000 Leaseholders Charges        591,450    £557,300
Transfer to General               £70,000                                          £105,350
Fund                   188,000              Other Charges               107,880
Provision for Bad                £100,000                                          £192,730
Debts                  100,000              Contribution towards        208,040
Capital Financing       £0           £0     expenditure
Capital Charges      6,464,120  £6,464,120  Housing Subsidy           2,720,000   £1,300,000
                                     £0     Housing Benefit                        £80,000
Leasing Charges             200             Transfers                    80,000
Debt Management         20,480    £13,820   Interest Receivable       1,340,960   £1,122,760
R.C.C.O.               300,000       £0     Other Income                 39,000     £58,100
TOTAL                           £35,051,580                                       £34,080,470
EXPENDITURE         36,426,940               TOTAL INCOME            35,885,200
                                             Surplus B/f                          £1,737,968
                                             Surplus/(shortfall) for              (£971,110)
                                             year
                                             Surplus carried                       £766,858
                                             forward
 The General Fund – This account is funded from the Council tax collected from all
 residents and from Government grants. It is used to fund all of the Council‟s other
 activities, including housing activity that doesn‟t relate to being a landlord, e.g.
 homelessness, working with RSL‟s, providing advice to older or disabled people in
 private homes.


                                             36
      The table below gives a summary of the Council‟s General Fund housing budget
      for2003/04:
                                 Housing General Fund Budget 2003/04
                                                                 2003/04
              Area                                                                     £
              Cost of Sold Properties                                            450,080
              Supporting People                                                  148,090
              Homelessness                                                       632,810
              Cost of waiting list                                               289,210
              Housing Initiatives                                                694,830
              Housing Benefit rent allowances                                    232,660
              Housing Benefit discretionary rent rebates                          80,000
              Housing Act Advances                                                   260
              Other services                                                      57,210
              Housing General Fund Total                                       2,585,150


9.2    Future and Other Sources of Funding
       The Housing Corporation (a Government funded body) provides funding to RSL‟s
         to develop affordable housing..
       The Supporting People programme provides funding for housing related support,
         such as the support provided in Council sheltered housing or the support provided
         in Women‟s Refuges. Supporting People funding is provided by the Government,
         but administered by Essex County Council. In 2003/04, the Supporting People
         programme provided £3,031,0003 for housing related support in Harlow.
       The Government provided direct grant support of £11 million through the Growth
         Areas Delivery Grant system in 2003/04.
       Joint funding arrangements with Essex County Council for a Housing
         Occupational Therapist post and for a Local Supporting People Officer post drew
         in £29,900 in 2003/04.

      The table below shows the sources of capital funding for all housing activity in
      Harlow, together with the areas we planned to spend it on. Similar tables for 2001/02
      and 2002/03 can be found in appendix III.

      2003/04
   Where the                                      What it was spent on                                Totals
  Money came
    From
                        New Housing         Grants to         Repairing and   Providing adaptations
                        Association       improve the          Maintaining     in disabled persons
                        Development       condition of        Council Homes           homes
                                         private homes
Housing                  £2,739,844
Corporation
Private                      £0
Developers
(S106)



      3          th
          As at 30 April 2003.


                                                         37
Harlow Council
Money:
Money from            £1,781,000          £40,000            £7,564,000              £80,000             £9,465,000
selling Council
homes
Government                                                   £4,042,000                                  £4,042,000
major Repairs
Allowance
Government                                                                           £120,000             £120,000
grants
Income from
Leaseholders
Income from
rents
How much              £2,520,844          £40,000            £11,806,000             £200,000            £13,837,000
available to
spend
How much we         Not available*    Not available*        Not available*        Not available*             Not
spent                                                                                                     available*
    * Outturn figures for 2003/4 are not available at the time of writing.
    The table below shows our projections of the sources of funding available to us for
    the life of this strategy. At this stage, we are only able to provide a best guess
    estimate of some of the funding sources:

    Funding Source          2004/05              2005/06               2006/07
    Housing                 £3,886,387           £5,500,000            £7,000,000
    Corporation (i)
    Private                 £0                   £0                    £0
    Developers (ii)
    Money from              £7,763,000           £4,611,000            £2,330,000
    Selling Council
    Homes (iii)
    Government              £120,000             £120,000              £120,000
    Grants
    Major Repairs           £6,267,000           £6,945,000            £6,945,000
    Allowance
    Income from             £0                   £0                    £0
    rents
    Income from             £200,000             £200,000              £200,000
    Leaseholders
    Totals                  £18,236,787.80 £17,376,334.17 £16,595,286.57
    i. Housing Corporation Grant support is assumed to increase as major development sites come on line
    (e.g. Harlow Gateway)
    ii. Although no projected income is shown, we expect to receive substantial income „in kind‟ in the form
    of built housing units of free land through section 106 Planning Gain agreements
    iii.      Receipts from sales decrease as receipts pooling „transitional protection‟ tapers decrease.




                                                       38
10. Performance Review
10.1 Delivering Previous Objectives
Consulting on and agreeing objectives, setting targets and monitoring performance
and progress is at the heart of our work. We use our targets and performance to
measure how well we are progressing, identify where things are going wrong and
plan to change things that are not working well.

Our last Housing Strategy contained a number of detailed targets and plans for the
authority for 2001/02 and beyond. A detailed analysis of our progress against those
targets and actions can be found at appendix III.

10.2 Delivering Objectives and Improving Services
In order to ensure we are continually trying to improve the services we offer, we also
have a set of performance targets against which we measure and report our
performance.

The key aims of this strategy and the ways the will be achieved are set out in the
Action Plan (Appendix VII ). The variety of objectives and the methods of monitoring
the progress vary accordingly; for example matters of policy will involve elected
members whereas work with other agencies will often also be subject to a multi-
agency review. The identified methods of monitoring are included as part of the
Action Plan

There are national performance standards, set by Government. We compliment
these by adding local performance targets and objectives, designed to measure
some of the key things we do. We compare our performance on national and local
targets against the best 25% of Councils in the Country (known as the top quartile ).
Detailed information on how we‟ve done to date and our overall performance can be
found in appendix VI below.




                                          39
    11. Appendices
I        National & Regional Objectives and Harlow’s Key Priorities

National Housing                     Regional Housing Harlow’s Housing
Objectives                           Objectives       Objectives
                               Decent Homes, Decent Places
   All social housing to meet          To achieve the             To ensure all social housing
    decent homes standard by             Decent Homes                in Harlow exceeds the
    2010                                 Standard by 2010            decent homes standard by
   Improve conditions for all          To achieve a step           2010
    vulnerable people in private         change in the supply       To invest in Harlow‟s homes
    accommodation                        of new affordable           to reduce crime, increase
   Ensure all tenants get an            homes to meet               energy efficiency and
    excellent service from their         identified needs            promote good health
    landlord                            To promote strategic       To encourage owners of
   Ensure all communities               working, particularly       private housing to invest in it
    have a clean, safe and               between regional            and maintain it to a high
    attractive environment in            stakeholders                standard
    which people can take               To contribute to the       To develop and publicise
    pride                                reduction in health         clearer and more
                                         inequalities                comprehensive housing
                                        To use stock                service standards
                                         investment to              To enable the provision of
                                         contribute to               services to people‟s homes
                                         increasing life spans       that enhance their quality of
                                                                     life and to promote flexible
                                                                     housing services that meet
                                                                     individuals needs
                                                                    To promote more „joined up‟
                                                                     working with providers of
                                                                     health, care and support
                                                                     services to deliver better
                                                                     services to local people with
                                                                     special needs
                              Low Demand and Abandonment
   Bring life back into areas          To reduce the              To encourage and empower
    where there is low demand            number of empty             tenants, leaseholders and
    for housing                          homes in the region         other housing consumers to
   Recreate sustainable                To link housing             participate in the
    communities                          investment with             management of their homes
   Prevent repetition of                issues arising from        To build communities that
    problems in longer term              structural change to        people want to live in
   Support the National                 communities                 through neighbourhood
    Strategy for Neighbourhood                                       regeneration
    Renewal

              A Step Change in Housing Supply & Sustainable Growth
   Create conditions in which          To build a better          To ensure a growing supply
    private house builders will          response to growth          of decent, affordable homes
    build more homes of the              pressures within and        within the town that match
    right type in the right places       outside the region          emerging demands - To


                                                40
National Housing                   Regional Housing Harlow’s Housing
Objectives                         Objectives       Objectives
   Addressing immediate and          To increase the            ensure that at least 30% of
    urgent needs for more              number of homes for        all new homes built on
    affordable housing, both for       the intermediate           developments of 15 or more
    key workers and those who          housing market and         dwellings (or half a hectare)
    would otherwise be                 key workers                are affordable.
    homeless                          To enhance housing
   Making best use of the             opportunities for         To ensure that 50% of all
    existing housing stock             people from BME            affordable new housing is
   To work towards a better           communities                one bedroomed
    balance in the housing            To link affordable
    market in the longer term          housing into plans        To promote the availability
   To do all this in a way that       for economic               of starter homes and key
    ensures communities are            development                worker housing in the town
    sustainable, enhances the         To ensure planning
    overall environment and            guidance recognises       To develop and implement a
    protects the countryside           the key role of            strategy for key worker
   To accommodate the                 affordable housing         housing
    economic success of               To provide
    London/South east and              sustainable homes         Making best use of existing
    ensure that the                    that minimise              social housing
    international                      environmental
    competitiveness of the             impact                    Promoting low cost home
    region is sustained.              To contribute to the       ownership
   To alleviate pressures on          establishment of
    existing services and              sustainable new           To develop new homes
    housing caused by                  settlements if/when        within the regeneration of
    economic success where             they arise                 the town centre north, of
    these pressures cannot            To provide new             which 30% would be
    readily be dealt with within       homes that                 affordable housing
    existing towns and cities          contribute to urban
   Where new and expanded             renaissance in            To ensure that new
    communities are needed,            quality and design         developments follow the
    to ensure that these are                                      policies in the Local Plan
    sustainable, well designed,                                   with regards the protection
    high quality and attractive                                   and preservation of Wildlife
    places in which people                                        Sites, SSSI‟s, Local Nature
    positively choose to live                                     Reserves and verges.
    and work.




                                              41
 II       Housing Affordability & Demand in Harlow


 The rising costs of buying a home in Harlow

Type of Home Average              Average     Cash     %age          Deposit Salary
                Price Jan         Price Jan   Increase Increase      (5%)    Require
                – March           – March                                    d (X 3)
                2003               2002
Detached        £269,914          £209,887    £60,027   28.6%        £13,496   £85,473
Semi-detached £179,789            £138,766    £41,023   29.6%        £8,989    £56,933
Terraced        £135,634          £106,124    £29,510   27.8%        £6,782    £42,951
Flat/Maisonette £95,560           £70,748     £24,812   35.1%        £4,778    £30,261
Overall         £142,089          £117,062    £25,027   21.4%        £7,104    £44,995
Average
 (Source: HM Land Registry May 2003)


 The cost of rented property in Harlow

 Landlord Type                      Average Weekly Rent
 Council Housing                    £53.79
 Housing Association                £64.40
 Private Sector Renting             £102
 (Source: Harlow Council/Housing Corporation/Dataspring)


 Average Weekly Household Income

                                 Average Gross Weekly      Average Gross Annual
                                 Earnings (£)              Earnings (£)

 Harlow                          452.9                     £23,551

 Essex                           423.9                     £22,043

 (Source: New Earnings Survey 2000)


 Percentage Household Income by Income Bands at 31/3/2003

 Income Band                          Percentage of Households
                                       Harlow         Essex
 Less than £15,000 p.a.                 48.2           39.4
 £15,000 - £24,999 p.a.                 25.5            27
 £25,000 - £39,999 p.a.                 20.3           21.4
 £40,000 plus p.a.                        6            12.1

 (Source: Community Data Services 2004)



                                                42
 Housing Demand

Affordable Housing Demand- Housing Needs Register:-
Household Size                     Total
Single under 60 yrs                2,090
(Single & 1 Child                  248
Single & 2 or more children        145
Couple under 60yrs                 265
Couple & 1 child                   130
Couple & 2 or more children        84)
Single 60 plus                     68
Couple 60 plus                     30
Total                              3,061


Affordable Housing Demand- Transfer Register
Household Size                      Total
Single under 60yrs                  262
(Single & 1 Child                   158
Single & 2 or more children         184
Couple under 60yrs                  81
Couple & 1 child                    112
Couple & 2 or more children         242)
Single 60 plus                      75
Couple 60 plus                      73
Total                               1187




                                    43
        III     Housing Capital Funding and Spending 2001/02 & 2002/03.

      2001/02
Where the                         What it was spent on                               Totals
  Money
came From
                   New           Grants to    Repairing and     Providing
                 Housing       improve the     Maintaining     adaptations
                association    condition of   Council Homes    in disabled
               Development    private homes                      persons
                                                                  homes
Housing            £0
Corporation
Private            £0
Developers
(S106)

Harlow
Council
Money:
Money from                                      £4,317,000       £80,000           £4,397,000
selling
Council
homes
Government                                      £3,460,000                         £3,460,000
major
Repairs
Allowance
Government      £816,000                                        £120,000            £936,000
grants
Income from                                     £200,000                            £200,000
Leaseholders
Income from                                     £250,000                            £250,000
rents
How much        £816,000                        £8,227,000      £200,000           £9,243,000
we planned
to spend
How much        £242,000 i                     £6,683,000 ii    £190,000           £7,117,000
we spent
        i Underspend due to delayed start on site. Rolled forward to 2003/04
        ii Underspend due to delays in projects starting on site. Council now operates a three
        years capital programming approach, with over programming built in.




                                                  44
   2002/03
  Where the                              What it was spent on                               Totals
 Money came
    From
                         New         Grants to      Repairing and          Providing
                       Housing      improve the      Maintaining        adaptations in
                      association   condition of    Council Homes      disabled persons
                     Development      private                               homes
                                      homes
Housing               £1,168,932
Corporation
Private Developers       £0
(S106)

Harlow Council
Money:
Money from selling                    £40,000           £5,102,000         £80,000        £5,132,000
Council homes
Government major                                        £3,742,000                        £3,742,000
Repairs Allowance
Government            £611,099                                            £120,000        £1,533,000
grants
Income from
Leaseholders
Income from rents
How much              £1,780,031      £40,000           £8,954,000        £200,000        £10,627,000
available to spend
How much we           £1,780,031      £37,000           £7,251,000 i      £192,000        £7,982,000
spent

     i Underspend due to slippage in the works programme caused by a range of factors
     leading to delays in projects starting on site.




                                                   45
     IV        Affordable Housing Production & Funding – 2002 – 2004

     Affordable Housing Developments 2002/03

                                              Funding
                                     Number
Scheme              Tenure                                      Housing
                                     of Units Local Authority
                                                                Corporation
RSL Acquisition     Rented             3          £190,244
Little Pardon       Supported          8             -             £343,750
SHI 1               Shared             11
                                                     -             £751,934
                    Ownership
Home Buy            Shared              2
                                                     -             £73,248
                    ownership
The Downs           Rented             7          £360,855             -
David Livingston    Rented             12         £60,000              -
Total Rented                           22         £611,099
Total Shared Ownership                 13                          £825,182
Total Key Worker                        -
Total Supported Housing                8                           £343,750
Total                                  41         £611,099        £1,168,932


     Affordable Housing Developments 2003/04

                                              Funding
                                     Number
Scheme              Tenure                                      Housing
                                     of Units Local Authority
                                                                Corporation
Learning            Supported           6
                                                     -             £510,000
Disability
Harlow Poors        Supported           8            -             £234,936
Home Buy            Shared              9
                                                     -             £185,948
                    Ownership
SHI 1               Key Worker         73            -            £1,788,685
SHI 2               Key Worker          1            -             £20,275
Challenge Fund      Rented/ Shared    3+20
                                                     -             £785,948
                    Ownership
Total Rented                            3            -             £102,516
Total Shared Ownership                  29           -             £869,388
Total Key Worker                        74           -            £1,808,960
Total Supported Housing                 14           -             £744,936
Total                                  123           -            £3,525,800




                                             46
V       Performance Review

Housing Strategy 2002 Progress


Theme/Objective          Target                   Progress
Affordable Homes – Meeting Local Needs
New Affordable         Maintain an annual         LASHG abolished 1/4/2003
Housing                LASHG allocation of at
                       least £800,000.
Develop 15 low cost    Annually from April 2002   11 Achieved in 2002/03
home ownership
Develop new Key        March 2003                 KW research commissioned and
Worker „opportunities‟                            completed. Key Worker strategy to be
                                                  developed.
Review RSL               March 2003               Review on hold pending outcome of
partnership                                       Housing Corporation „partnering‟
agreement                                         arrangements. Will be completed in
                                                  2004/05
Increase RSL forums      From April 2002          Superseded by review of strategic
to quarterly                                      housing partnership groups
Set S106 planning        By 2004/05.              In draft local plan
gain at 30%
Complete Urban           2002/03                  Completed and used to underpin draft
Capacity Study                                    local plan
Complete Access to       2003                     BV Review moved from 02/03 to
Housing Best Value                                2004/05
review
Reduce Towns empty       By April 2003            Not achieved – A major review of the
homes to 109                                      way the Council deals with its empty
                                                  homes has been undertaken and a new
                                                  performance plan is in place.
Develop private          By March 2003            The Council agreed an interim strategy
sector empty property                             in June 2003. Work on a
strategy                                          comprehensive strategy is scheduled
                                                  as part of the workplan for this
                                                  strategy(see appendix 5)
Reduce private empty     By March 2003            Not Achieved. Empty homes activity to
properties void for >6                            be reviewed as part of Private Sector
months by 45 (BVPI                                Strategy development.
64)
Establish Landlord       By March 2003            Landlord Forum operational from
Forum and assess                                  October 2003. Accreditation to be
voluntary                                         evaluated as part of Private Sector
accreditation scheme                              Housing Strategy development
Complete feasibility     March 2003               Feasibility complete – Choice Based
study on Choice                                   Lettings implementation from
Based Lettings                                    September 2004
Evaluate Common          March 2003               Held pending outcome of Choice Based
Housing Register                                  Lettings post implementation
                                                  evaluations
Review low areas of      March 2003               Held pending outcome of Choice Based
demand/local lettings                             Lettings post implementation
policy                                            evaluations


                                           47
Theme/Objective       Target                     Progress
Increase homeless     March 2003                 Not achieved. Changes to the process
decisions within 33                              used within the homelessness team are
days to 95%                                      being implemented to improve
                                                 performance over the next two years.
Review use of          March 2003                Homelessness Strategy produced and
Temporary                                        published in July 2003. Major overhaul
Accommodation &                                  of Temporary Accommodation
Produce                                          underway (see targets for current
Homelessness                                     strategy).
Strategy
Commission a           In 2003                   Survey commissioned early 2004
Housing Needs
Survey
Decent homes – improving the condition of Harlow’s housing
Reduce year on year Annually from March 2002 Not achieved.
local authority
maintenance costs
(BVPI65b)
Appoint a HMO          By December 2002          Achieved – Officer in post.
officer
Make available at      By April 2002             Achieved. Annual HRA budget of
least £50,000 Home                               £40,000 delivered in partnership with
Repairs Assistance                               Harlow Care & Repair.
Ensure all new         March 2004                Joint work with Essex police
homes are built to                               architecture unit on redeveloping of
secure by design.                                existing social housing.
Homes for all promoting social inclusion and regenerating communities
Implement Supporting By April 2003               Supporting People implemented from
People                                           1st April 2003
Agree Supported        December 2002              Work on developing supported housing
Housing Capital                                  capital strategy has been put on hold
Strategy                                         pending a clearer future for new
                                                 revenue funding under the Supporting
                                                 People programme.
Review Disabled        March 2003                Review carried forward as target for
Adaptation Service                               2004/05.
Audit the Council      March 2003                Audit completed.
performance against
CRE Code
Participate in a       March 2003                Countywide review not being
Countywide review of                             undertaken at present.
services for Women                               Local services being reviewed as part
escaping DV                                      of SP review programme
Develop 16 units of    March 2003                Achieved
supported
accommodation via
RSL
Complete a feasibility March 2003                2 x Local Enforcement Officers now
study of a                                       working with Environmental Health
neighbourhood                                    Service – Dec 02
warden service
Set up a supported     March 2003                Achieved
housing forum.


                                         48
Theme/Objective      Target                   Progress
Community Matters – Empowering stakeholders
Extend Housing         December 2002        Not Achieved. Housing information
Information series                          review to be undertaken during 2004/05
                                            in line with Choice Based Lettings
                                            introduction.
Make all Housing       March 2003           Not Achieved. Council‟s website
forms available on the                      undergoing redesign and housing
internet                                    literature being reviewed during
                                            2004/05.
Achieve 4              By 2004              1 Neighbourhood compact established.
Neighbourhood                               Service delivery/structure changes to
Compacts                                    be evaluated before continuing




                                       49
VI       Housing National Performance Indicators Outturn 2002/03

National Indicator                                 2002/03       2001/02       Top 25% of
(BVPI’s)                                         Performance   Performance        Local
                                                                               Authorities
                                                                                2002 / 03
Local authority rent collection and arrears:          96.74%     96.35%          98.70%
Proportion of rent collected.
Percentage of responsive (but not                     96.5%        96%           73.00%
emergency) repairs during 2002 / 2003 for
which the authority both made and kept
an appointment
The proportion of unfit private sector                1.45%       0.00%          4.00%
dwellings made fit or demolished as a
direct result of action by the local authority
The number of private sector vacant                     0       Amended         Not scaled
dwellings that are returned into                               Indicator for     by Audit
occupation or demolished during 2002 /                           2002 / 03     Commission
03 (2003 / 04) as a direct result of action
by the local authority
Average length of stay of households
which include dependent children or a
pregnant woman and which are un-
intentionally homeless and in priority
need:
Bed and Breakfast Accommodation                    1 week      New Indicator     I week
Hostel Accommodation                              40 weeks     for 2002 / 03    0 weeks
The number of domestic violence refuge                6              6             0.65
places per 10,000 population, which are
provided or supported by the authority.
Does the authority follow the Commission               Yes         Yes         Yes = 59%
for Racial Equality‟s code of practice in
rented housing and follow the Good
Practice Standards for social landlords on
tackling harassment included in the Code
of Practice for Social Landlords: Tackling
Racial Harassment?




                                                 50
       VII   Housing Strategy Action Plan

Strategic    Key Objectives           Activities                             Timescales and    Resource               Officers        Progress to
Priority                                                                     Monitoring        Requirement            Responsible     Date
Reviewing    To engage                Establishing a Housing Focus           By April 2005 –   Organisational         Housing
and          Members,                 Group involving residents selected     Meeting bi        payment to MORI,       Strategy
Updating     stakeholders and         from the Council‟s Citizens Jury       annually          from within existing   Manager (HSM)
Homes for    the wider                (MORI Panel) – Feeding in wide                           budgets.
             community in             community views on Housing
Harlow
             evaluating the           Strategy & priorities
             strategy and             Review of Homes for Harlow on          October 2004      None                   Head of
             updating it to reflect   publication of new London                                                       Housing
             changing housing         Commuter Belt Sub Regional                                                      Strategy &
             markets and trends       Housing Strategy – report to                                                    Resources
                                      Members on key areas of strategy                                                (HoHSR)/HSM
                                      to be altered/updated/reprioritised.
                                      Harlow Social Housing Partnership      October 2004      None                   HSM
                                      Group terms of reference expanded
                                      to include reviewing housing
                                      strategy
                                      Quarterly progress reports to          Commencing        None                   HSM
                                      Members on housing strategy            January 2005
                                      progress and housing market issues
                                      Annual Housing Strategy                March 2005        Conference funded      HoHSR/HSM
                                      Conference – involving members,        (repeated March   from with existing
                                      the Community, Partners and other      2006)             Housing Strategy &
                                      stakeholders – Review of Homes for                       Resources Budgets
                                      Harlow in context new London
                                      Commuter Belt Sub Regional
                                      Housing Strategy of to coincide with
                                      production of Regional Housing
                                      Strategy)
Strategic       Key Objectives         Activities                               Timescales and    Resource                Officers           Progress to
Priority                                                                        Monitoring        Requirement             Responsible        Date
                                       Production of Homes for Harlow           July 2005         Yes – sum tbc - Bid     HoHSR/HSM
                                       update based on Regional/Sub             (Repeated July    for funding in
                                       Regional changes and stakeholder         2006)             2005/06 budget
                                       consultation for approval by                               round
                                       Members and public distribution.
Affordable      To ensure that at      Complete Housing Needs Survey to         By June 2004                              HSM / Forward      Invitation to
Homes –         least 30% of all new   ensure adequate information              Delivery to be    Funding of £45,000      Planning Officer   Tender
Meeting local   homes built on         available to underpin draft local plan   monitored by      for Survey identified   FPO                advertised
housing         developments of 15     requirements.                            Housing           in General Fund                            February 2004
                or more dwellings                                               Strategy and      budget ¾                                   Consultant
needs
                (or half a hectare)                                             Contracts                                                    appointed May
                are affordable and                                              Officer                                                      2004
                that 50% of all        Review the Harlow social housing         By September      Within existing         HSM / Head of      Draft
                affordable new         partnership agreement and develop        2004              resources               Housing            Agreement
                housing is one         a strategic social housing forum for     New Agreement                             Strategy and       prepared for
                bedroomed              Harlow                                   to be reviewed                            Resources          consultation by
                                                                                twice yearly by                           HoHSR              June 2004
                                                                                Housing
                                                                                Strategy and
                                                                                Social Housing
                                                                                Forum
                                       Development of an affordable             By December       Within existing         HSM / FPO /        Awaiting
                                       housing policy for Harlow                2004              resources               HoHSR              guidance from
                                                                                Once in place,                                               Housing Needs
                                                                                each scheme to                                               Survey
                                                                                be monitored by
                                                                                Housing
                                                                                Strategy for
                                                                                compliance




                                                                                52
Strategic   Key Objectives          Activities                          Timescales and    Resource               Officers         Progress to
Priority                                                                Monitoring        Requirement            Responsible      Date
            To maximise the         Continue to develop the Harlow      2004/05 and       Use of ODPM            HSM / HoHSR /    Monthly
            supply of new           Gateway Housing Scheme in           ongoing           Growth Area Delivery   FPO / Head of    meetings, brief
            affordable housing      Partnership with English            Delivered         Grant Funds            Planning         prepared for
            available to those in   Partnerships, the Housing           through                                  Services         selection of
            housing need.           Corporation and RSL‟s               Gateway Group,                           HoPl.S /         RSLs
                                                                        reporting to                             Regeneration
                                                                        Housing                                  Manager RM
                                                                        Corporation,
                                                                        English
                                                                        Partnerships
                                                                        and Harlow
                                                                        Council
                                    Review Council owned land, garage   By December       Within existing        HSM /            Five sites
                                    sites and other areas for           2004              resources              Development      identified (2
                                    development potential               Bi-monthly                               Officer DO /     now planned
                                                                        meetings of                              Head of          and funding
                                                                        Garage Working                           Housing          identified)
                                                                        Party reporting                          Management
                                                                        to Housing                               HoHM / Head of
                                                                        Committee                                Facilities and
                                                                                                                 Assets
                                                                                                                 Management
                                                                                                                 HoFM
                                    Development of cross-authority      By September      Within existing        HoHSR / HSM      Involvement
                                    housing development arrangements    2004              resources                               with briefing
                                    with London Commuter Belt Sub       Co-ordinated                                              and selecting
                                    Region – East Herts/West Essex      through                                                   RSL partners
                                    colleagues                          attendance at                                             for cross-
                                                                        Sub-Regional                                              authority
                                                                        Housing Group                                             development
                                                                        and involvement
                                                                        with BAA
                                                                        scheme


                                                                        53
Strategic   Key Objectives       Activities                             Timescales and    Resource            Officers        Progress to
Priority                                                                Monitoring        Requirement         Responsible     Date
            Making best use of   To implement a choice based            By April 2005     Capital = £35,000   Housing         Project group
            existing social      lettings scheme for Harlow             CBL Project       Revenue = £80,000   Resources       established
            housing                                                     Group reporting   in 04/05 budget     Manager HRM /   June 2004
                                                                        to Housing                            HoHSR / HoHM
                                                                        Committee
                                 Introduce a Moving Out of Harlow       By September      Within existing     HRM
                                 arrangements (LAWN)                    2004              resources

                                 To open negotiations with RSL‟s on     By March 2005     Within existing     HoHSR / HSM /
                                 a common housing register for          Progress to be    resources           HRM
                                 Harlow                                 reported to
                                                                        Housing
                                                                        Committee
                                 Produce a Homelessness Advice          By March 2005     Within existing     HRM
                                 booklet to raise awareness in          To be overseen    resources
                                 applicants of alternative sources of   by
                                 accommodation                          Homelessness
                                                                        Forum meeting
                                                                        bi-monthly
                                 To review current empty homes          By March 2004     Within existing     HoHM / Empty    Voids Summit
                                 procedures and improve                 Working Group     resources           Homes           held Feb‟04.
                                 performance on Council void            established.                          Manager EHM /   Improvement
                                 properties.                            Proposals to be                       Head of         Plan drafted by
                                                                        presented to                          Property        working group
                                                                        Housing                               Services HoPS   April „04
                                                                        Committee                             / HoHSR
                                 Continue incentive to move scheme      Ongoing           Within existing     HoHM            Reviewed
                                 for Council tenants                    To be reviewed    resources                           Mar‟04. Key
                                                                        by March 2004.                                        issues included
                                                                        Monitored by                                          in Empty
                                                                        Older Person‟s                                        Homes
                                                                        Housing                                               Improvement
                                                                        Manager                                               Plan.


                                                                        54
Strategic   Key Objectives        Activities                            Timescales and      Resource                Officers        Progress to
Priority                                                                Monitoring          Requirement             Responsible     Date
                                  Introduce Harlow funded portable      By September        £225,000 in 04/05       HoHSR / HRM /   Draft policy
                                  discount scheme for Council tenants   2004                budget                  HSM             presented to
                                                                        Policy to be                                                Housing
                                                                        drafted for                                                 Committee May
                                                                        Housing                                                     2004.
                                                                        Committee. To
                                                                        be monitored by
                                                                        Leasehold
                                                                        Services and
                                                                        reviewed
                                                                        annually.
                                  Development of homelessness           By December         Within existing         HRM / HSM
                                  prevention strategy                   2004                resources
                                                                        Monitoring to be
                                                                        specified as part
                                                                        of strategy
                                  Development alternative, private      By March 2005       General Fund            HRM / HSM       Appraisal of
                                  sector temporary accommodation        Scheme to be        funding of £60,000 in                   options
                                  for homeless households to reduce     monitored by        04/05 budget                            undertaken
                                  the use of bed and breakfast for      Housing                                                     May/June 2004.
                                  homeless households                   Strategy and                                                Partner RSLs
                                                                        Resources.                                                  consulted and
                                                                        Reviews                                                     briefed.
                                                                        conducted twice
                                                                        yearly as per
                                                                        Social Housing
                                                                        Partnership
                                                                        Agreement
            To develop and        Analyse the Key Worker housing        By December         Within existing         HoHSR / HSM /   Awaiting
            implement a           research and open discussions with    2004                resources               RM              findings from
            strategy for key      local employers                                                                                   Housing Needs
            worker housing - To                                                                                                     Survey



                                                                        55
Strategic       Key Objectives         Activities                              Timescales and       Resource              Officers        Progress to
Priority                                                                       Monitoring           Requirement           Responsible     Date
                promote the            Develop Harlow‟s Key Worker             By March 2005        Within existing       HSM
                availability of        Housing Strategy                        Monitoring           resources
                starter homes and                                              arrangements to
                key worker housing                                             be identified
                in the town                                                    within strategy
                                       Integrate Key worker housing            Ongoing              To be identified      HSM / RM        Requirements
                                       opportunities in development sites –    Delivery                                                   for affordable
                                       e.g. Harlow Gateway Scheme              monitored                                                  housing
                                                                               through HSSA                                               included within
                                                                                                                                          s.106
                                                                                                                                          agreements
Decent          To ensure all social   Complete the Housing Options            By December          £60,000 Agreed from   Executive
Homes –         housing in Harlow      Appraisal process                       2004                 HRA budget            Director of
Improving       meets the decent                                               Detailed in                                Housing
the condition   homes standard by                                              Options                                    Services EDHS
of Harlow’s     2010                                                           Appraisal Plan
                                       Improve the remaining Council           By March 2010        As detailed in HRA    HoPS
homes
                                       homes not meeting the DHS                                    Revenue and Capital
                                                                                                    programme (see
                                                                                                    HRA Business Plan
                                                                                                    section 5.3)
                To ensure all          Review with other services the          By September         Within existing       HSM / HoHSR /   Interim strategy
                private housing        Council‟s role in relation to private   2004                 resources             Head of         in place.
                with vulnerable        sector housing to develop a             Monitoring to be                           Environmental   Preparation of
                residents in Harlow    comprehensive private sector            identified as part                         Health HoEH     strategy begun
                meets the Decent       housing strategy                        of strategy, incl.                                         June 2004
                Homes Standard by                                              Existing
                2010 and encourage                                             partnerships,
                owners of private                                              e.g. Moat Care
                housing to invest in                                           & Repair.




                                                                               56
Strategic       Key Objectives           Activities                             Timescales and      Resource               Officers      Progress to
Priority                                                                        Monitoring          Requirement            Responsible   Date
                it and maintain it to    Carry out preparatory work for HMO     By March 2005       To be identified       HoEH / HSM    HMOs identified
                a high standard          Licensing, in advance of the                                                                    by
                                         Housing Bill                                                                                    Environmental
                                                                                                                                         Health Jan04
Homes for All   To invest in             To develop a strategy for investment   By December         Within existing        HoPS / HoEH
– promoting     Harlow’s homes to        in homes to improve the home           2004                resources
social          reduce crime,            environment through energy             To be
inclusion and   increase energy          efficiency and ventilation measures,   addressed
                efficiency and           and to reduce CO2 emissions and        through Private
regenerating
                promote good             heat loss from dwellings               Sector Housing
communities     health                                                          Strategy (above)
                                         Develop and affordable warmth          By March 2005       Within existing        HSM
                                         policy for all homes in Harlow                             resources
                To enable the            Development of BME Housing             By December         Within existing        HSM / HoHSR   BME Housing
                provision of             Strategy and Action Plan               2004                resources                            Event held
                services to people’s                                            Details for                                              Apr.‟04
                homes that                                                      monitoring of
                enhance their                                                   action plan to be
                quality of life and to                                          covered within
                promote flexible                                                strategy
                housing services         Evaluate developing sheltered          By March 2005       To be identified       HSM / HoHSR   Awaiting
                that meet                housing provision for older minority   To be included                                           information
                individuals needs        ethnic residents                       as part of BME                                           from Housing
                                                                                Housing                                                  Needs Survey
                                                                                Strategy
                                         Work with ECC and Harlow PCT on        By March 2005       Bid for Essex County   HoHSR / HSM   Agreed as
                                         Intermediate care for older people     Monitored           Council Supporting                   priority by SP
                                         being discharged from hospital,        through SP          People Funding                       LCSG Feb.‟04
                                         including Floating Support short-      Local Core          required. Amount to
                                         term service for hospital discharge    Strategy Group.     be identified.
                                         clients – frail and elderly.




                                                                                57
Strategic   Key Objectives   Activities                             Timescales and    Resource               Officers      Progress to
Priority                                                            Monitoring        Requirement            Responsible   Date
                             To enhance the levels of support       By December       Bid for Essex County   HRM / Older
                             provided at Summers Farm Close         2006              Council Supporting     Persons‟
                             (extra care sheltered housing                            People Funding         Housing
                             scheme) subject to available SP                          required. Amount to    Manager
                             funding                                                  be identified.         OPHM
                             The development of an 8 unit           By March 2007     Resourced through      HSM           Next review
                             scheme for people with Autism as       Monitored         Essex Strategic                      planned for
                             part of the Essex Strategic Reserve    through liaison   Reserve                              Jul‟04 with ECC
                             programme                              by Housing
                                                                    Strategy with
                                                                    Essex County
                                                                    Council ESR
                                                                    programme
                             Participate in the Supporting People   Ongoing           Within existing        HSM           Local Officer
                             scheme review programme in             Monitored         resources                            supporting
                             partnership with Essex County          through County                                         Administrative
                             Council                                Commissioning                                          Authority.
                                                                    Body                                                   Review of HDC
                                                                                                                           Sheltered
                                                                                                                           Schemes
                                                                                                                           commenced
                                                                                                                           spring 2004
                             Review of existing properties          By March 2005     Bid to Housing         HSM / DO      Existing
                             allocated to Harlow Women‟s Aid –      Development of    Corporation,                         properties
                             evaluating development of purpose      new scheme to     remainder from                       reviewed Spring
                             built move on facility (recycling of   be monitored      existing resources                   „04. Site and
                             existing SP funding)                   jointly by HSR                                         funding
                                                                    and Housing                                            identified for
                                                                    Corporation.                                           new
                                                                                                                           development




                                                                    58
Strategic   Key Objectives   Activities                              Timescales and     Resource          Officers      Progress to
Priority                                                             Monitoring         Requirement       Responsible   Date
                             The development of an 8 unit            By December        Essex Strategic   HSM / DO      Next review
                             housing scheme for young people         2005               Reserve funding                 with ECC
                             leaving care as part of the Essex       Monitored          agreed                          planned July‟04
                             Strategic Reserve                       through liaison
                                                                     by Housing
                                                                     Strategy with
                                                                     Essex County
                                                                     Council ESR
                                                                     programme
                             Develop 10 supported lodgings           By June 2006       Resources to be   HSM / DO      HSM supporting
                             providers recruited for the Harlow      Monitored          identified                      ECC on update
                             and surrounding area over the next      through 6                                          of Leaving &
                             12-18 months for young people           weekly liaison                                     Aftercare
                             leaving care                            with ECC                                           Housing
                                                                     Leaving and                                        Strategy.
                                                                     Aftercare
                                                                     Steering Group
                             Establish a suitable location for the   By March 2005      Within existing   HSM / DO      Next review
                             existing Essex Strategic Reserve        Progress           resources                       with ECC
                             funded scheme for people with drug      monitored                                          planned for
                             and/or alcohol problems                 through liaison                                    July‟04
                                                                     with ECC ESR
                                                                     staff quarterly.
                             Develop a single homeless persons       By April 2005      Within existing   HRM / HSM
                             strategy for Harlow                     Reviewed as        resources
                                                                     part of Service
                                                                     Plan
                             Evaluate possibilities for developing   By March 2005      Within existing   HSM / DO      Agreed as
                             a direct access night-shelter for       Monitored by       resources                       priority by Local
                             single homeless people.                 Supporting                                         Core Strategy
                                                                     People Local                                       Group Feb‟04
                                                                     Core Strategy
                                                                     Group


                                                                     59
Strategic   Key Objectives        Activities                              Timescales and     Resource             Officers       Progress to
Priority                                                                  Monitoring         Requirement          Responsible    Date
            To promote more       To monitor the Council‟s move on        Ongoing            Within existing      HRM            CORE Working
            ‘joined up’ working   strategy to ensure services gain fair   To be part of LA   resources                           group
            with providers of     access to housing                       CORE review of                                         established
            health, care and                                              lettings
            support services to   Review of Housing OT service and        By Match 2005      Within existing      HSM            Data base
            deliver better        arrangements                            Progress           resources                           established
            services to local                                             reviewed as                                            May‟04 showing
            people with special                                           Service Plan.                                          level of need.
            needs
            To build              Develop area based regeneration         By December        Funding of £50,000   HoHSR / HoPS   Enhancements
            communities that      projects aligned with sustainable       2005 and           agreed in 04/05      / RM           to Estate
            people want to live   estates priorities                      ongoing            budget                              Sustainability
            in through                                                    Monitored by                                           Index identified
            neighbourhood                                                 Corporate                                              by
            regeneration                                                  Management                                             Regeneration,
                                                                          Team                                                   HPS,
                                                                                                                                 Environmental
                                                                                                                                 Health and
                                                                                                                                 HSR
                                  Consult with residents of               Ongoing            Within existing      HoHM / HoPS
                                  Northbrooks estate on the outcome                          resources
                                  of the community consultation
                                  exercise and agree a way forward
                                  Develop joint working protocols and     By March 2005      Within existing      HSM / Estate   Contained
                                  standards with local RSL‟s on           To be reviewed     resources            and Tenancy    within revised
                                  housing management activity.            regularly                               Services       draft Social
                                                                          through Social                          Manager ETSM   Housing
                                                                          Housing                                                Partnership
                                                                          Partnership                                            Agreement.
                                                                          Agreement




                                                                          60
Strategic      Key Objectives          Activities                          Timescales and   Resource          Officers        Progress to
Priority                                                                   Monitoring       Requirement       Responsible     Date
               To develop new          Engage in production of             2006/7           Within existing   HoHSR
               homes within the        development brief for Town centre                    resources
               regeneration of the     North Regeneration
               town centre north,
               of which 30% would
               be affordable
               housing
Community      To develop and          Produce and publish Customer        By 1st           Within existing   HRM
Matters –      publicise clearer       Service Standards for               September 2004   resources
Empowering     and more                Homelessness, Allocations and       Monitored by
stakeholders   comprehensive           Housing Strategy team‟s             Homelessness
               housing service                                             Forum
               standards
                                       Develop the Homelessness Teams      By April 2005    Within existing   HRM
                                       capacity and progress to Charter                     resources
                                       mark status.
               To encourage and        Reviewing all Housing Options       By December      Within existing   HRM / Tenant
               empower tenants,        literature and leaflets.            2004             resources         Participation
               leaseholders and                                                                               Manager TPM
               other housing           Continue the development of the     Ongoing          Within existing   HRM             Ongoing
               consumers the           homelessness forum                                   resources                         meetings
               opportunity to          Publish performance targets and     Quarterly –      Within existing   HoHSR / HSM /
               influence priorities,   report to residents regularly on    From             resources         HoHM / TPM
               decisions and           performance through Harlow Home,    September 2004
               service                 website and press releases.
               performance.




                                                                           61
62
VIII   Contacts at Harlow Council

Contacts at Harlow Council for more information on issues listed in this
document
Service/Name        Position             Types of query
Housing Services
Carol Rooker        Interim Head of      Housing Management Issues
                    Housing
                    Management
                    Services
John McCue          Head of Housing      Decent Homes and Housing Repairs Issues
                    Property Services
Ian Christmas       Head of Housing      Housing Strategy, Housing Association,
                    Strategy &           Homelessness, Housing Register & Lettings
                    Resources            issues
Paul Gayler         Housing Strategy     Housing Strategy and Housing Association
                    Manager              development issues
Bill Livermore      Head of Technical    Decent Homes and Housing Repairs Issues
                    Group
Sandra Dwan         Repairs Operational Housing Repairs Issues
                    Manager
Jane Greer/Donna    Housing Resources Homelessness, Housing Register and
Goodchild           Manager              Housing Lettings issues.
Other Services
Assets & Facilities
Joe McGill          Head of Assets and Asset Management Plan and capital
                    Facilities           programme issues
Finance
Peter Morbey        Head of              Financial Issues
                    Accountancy
Planning
Clive Crake         Head of Planning     Planning Issues
                    Services
Policy
Steph McEvaddy      Head of Policy       Council Statement of Intent and Harlow
                                         2020 Vision
Communications
Carole Hudson       Head of              Corporate communications issues.
                    Communications

All Council officers can be contacted through Contact Harlow on 01279 446655 or
email contact@harlow.gov.uk




                                        63
IX      Further Reading

Documents referred to in this strategy relating to regional and national priorities:

The Way Forward for Housing – www.odpm.gov.uk
Sustainable Communities Plan for the East of England – www.odpm.gov.uk
Available from: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, PO Box 236, Wetherby,
West Yorkshire LS23 7NB
Tel. 0870 1226 236

Homelessness Act 2002 and other related legislation –
www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk

East of England Regional Housing Strategy 2003-2006 – www.eelgc.gov.uk

Essex County Council Supporting People Strategic Steer –
http://supportingpeople.essexcc.gov.uk
Available from: Supporting People, 2 Beaufort Way, Dukes Park Industrial Estate,
Chelmsford, Essex CM2 6PS
Tel. 01245 240009

Documents, which support or are referred to in this strategy relating to local priorities,
which can be supplied on request:
Asset Management Plan
Best value Performance Plan
    Best value Inspection and Improvement Plan – Repairs and Maintenance
    Harlow Council‟s Statement of Intent
    Harlow 2020 Vision – Harlow‟s Community Plan
    „Investing in Harlow‟s Homes‟ Housing Revenue Account Business Plan
      2004_2007
    London Commuter Belt Sub Region Housing Strategy
    Regeneration Strategy
    Supporting People Strategy
    Tenant Empowerment Strategy
    Tenants Survey Report 2002
    Test of Opinion Report 2003

For further copies of this Business Plan or any of the documents listed above, please
contact:
Mrs P Hanks
Housing Services
Harlow Council,
Civic Centre
Water Gardens,
Harlow CM20 1WG
Tel: 01279 446655
Email: contact@harlow.gov.uk Or visit the Council‟s website at www.harlow.gov.uk




                                           64
X       Glossary of Terms

AFFORDABLE HOUSING            Homes available at below market prices.
                              These are usually Council or Housing
                              Association/Registered Social landlord
                              homes for rent or low cost home ownership.
ARMS LENGTH COMPANY (ALMO)    A company which would be established by a
                              Council for the purposes of carrying out the
                              landlord role for Council housing, but not
                              taking over management of the housing
                              stock.
ASSET MANAGEMENT PLAN         A plan showing how the Council‟s capital
                              assets will be maintained to meet needs and
                              the expected finances available to invest in
                              assets.
BME                           People from Black and Minority Ethnic
                              Groups
BV / BEST VALUE               The system by which Councils and other
                              public organisations review the performance
                              of all their services within a five year period
                              with the aim of achieving continuous
                              improvement.
CAPITAL PROGRAMME             Financial provision for the planned repair and
                              improvement of the Council housing stock.
Capital Receipts              Money received by the Council for the sale of
                              assets, e.g. houses sold under the Right to
                              Buy.
Community Strategy/Plan       A requirement as part of the Local
                              Government Act 2000. It is designed to be a
                              framework for improving the quality of life in
                              an area by promoting social, economic and
                              environmental well being.

Decent Homes Standard         A requirement set by the Government that all
                              Council and Housing Association housing
                              reaches a specified minimum standard by
                              2010
General Fund                  The Council‟s income and spending on
                              everything other than Council housing.

Go East                       The Regional Government Office for the East
                              of England, covering all Council‟s in the
                              Counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire,
                              Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
HiMP                          Health Improvement Modernisation
                              Programme
Homelessness Forum            Local multi-agency group formed to tackle
                              and prevent homelessness in Harlow
Homelessness Strategy         Council‟s plans to reduce and prevent
                              homelessness.
Housing Association (RSL)     A non profit making organisation that provide
                              affordable housing for those who cannot


                             65
                                      afford to buy a home. Most Housing
                                      Associations are Registered Social Landlords
                                      (see below)
Housing Corporation                   Organisation that provides funding to
                                      Housing Associations to help deliver
                                      affordable housing.
Housing Needs Survey                  A detailed survey carried out in order to
                                      establish future demands for housing,
                                      including size, tenure and cost.
Housing Register                      The register of those seeking an affordable
                                      homes (also know as the „waiting list‟)
Housing Revenue Account/HRA           Council income and spending account for
                                      Council housing.
Housing Revenue Account/HRA           Document that outlines the future spending
Business Plan                         and management of the Council‟s income
                                      from its housing stock.
LSP/Local Strategic Partnership       A group of organisations responsible for
                                      developing and implementing the Community
                                      Strategy and action plan for Harlow – known
                                      as the Harlow 2020 Vision.

London Commuter Belt Housing Sub      The area within the East of England Region
Region                                that includes Harlow. The sub region
                                      includes all the district Councils in
                                      Hertfordshire plus Brentwood, Chelmsford,
                                      Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford
                                      Councils from Essex.

Local Core Strategy Group             Local multi-agency group that oversees the
                                      development of the Supporting People
                                      programme in the district.
Office of the Deputy rime Minister    The central Government Office responsible
                                      for local government, housing and regional
                                      issues.

RSL/Registered Social Landlord        A not for profit organisation providing
                                      housing that is registered with a Government
                                      Body called the Housing Corporation. (see
                                      Housing Association above)
Supporting People                     New source of funding for people living in
                                      supported housing, e.g. sheltered, foyers,
                                      hostels, etc.




                                     66
XI    Community Languages and Accessibility




Copies of this document can be obtained on audio-tape or in Braille
on request. Please see contact in paragraph IX above

                                 67
XII   Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix 2003




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