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									                               FIFE COUNCIL

                                        Housing and Communities Committee
                                                       18 November 2008
                                                         Agenda Item No.


1.0   Introduction

1.1 In April 2005 Fife Council submitted its Standard Delivery Plan to the
    Scottish Government setting out a plan for meeting the Scottish Housing
    Quality Standard (SHQS) based on the business assumptions for the
    Housing Revenue Account (HRA). The SHQS is a set of housing quality
    criteria that all social rented housing should meet by 2015 (refer to
    Appendix 1). It is separated into five main headings measuring whether
    a home is:

         Compliant with the Tolerable Standard;
         Free from serious disrepair;
         Energy efficient;
         Provided with modern facilities and services; and,
         Healthy, safe and secure.

1.2    It was agreed that Fife Council would revise and update the Standard
       Delivery Plan and its targets to ensure that the SHQS was achieved by
       2015. This report outlines progress made in year three of the plan.

2.0   Options Appraisal

2.1   The Standard Delivery Plan of 2005 was developed within the agreed
      policy of stock retention, following extensive consultation and options
      appraisals events involving tenants, Elected Members and staff of the

2.2   The groups, independent of each other, concluded that Fife Council
      should remain in ownership of the housing as the ‘preferred landlord’,
      although delivery of the standard would require efficiencies in
      management and investment costs. All groups were supportive of the
      SHQS, agreeing to deliver a higher ‘Fife Standard’ in some parts,
      particularly in the provision of energy efficiency measures (refer to
      Appendix 1).
3.0   Monitoring Progress Against the SHQS

3.1   The implementation of the Standard Delivery Plan, including the
      achievement of the SHQS, is assessed by the Scottish Government
      Housing Regulator.     Annual submissions are required to outline
      progress of ‘failing’ dwellings and elements, and to report overall
      performance in achieving the standard. An update of the 2008 position
      is as follows:

     Dwelling Improvement

3.2 The information used for the first Standard Delivery Plan was based on a
    10% sample survey of Council housing. Since this time measures have
    been taken to improve the reliability of information through an additional
    2,000 house condition surveys and the integration of this information into
    a single housing stock database. A further 2,000 surveys are being
    undertaken in 2008/2009 to provide completed surveys of around 24% of
    Council housing.

3.3 The analysis of the Stock Condition Survey conducted by FDP Savills in
    March 2005 indicated that 4.9% of Fife Council housing met the
    standard, 95.1% Council homes did not meet the standard, with the
    majority of properties failing on two or more criteria.

3.4 Table 1 illustrates that delivery of investment programmes of around
    £120 million in the three years to March 2008, has led to a 2.8%
    improvement in the percentage of homes meeting the standard. Of a
    current stock of 31,419, an estimated 2,432 homes (7.7%) meet the
    standard and 28,987 homes (92.3%) currently fail the standard.

                 Table 1: Year 3 Comparison of Council Homes Failing the SHQS
                                         2004/05         2007/08        Improvement
                                         Position        Position        (over 3yrs)
       Total Stock Achieving                       1,646   2,432            N/A
       % Stock Achieving                           4.9%    7.7%            2.8%
       Total Stock Failing                        32,171   28,987         -3,184
       % Stock Failing                            95.1%    92.3%           -2.8%
       Stock Number                               33,817   31,419            -
      Source: FPD Savills Stock Condition Survey 2008

3.5 While the percentage improvement in dwellings meeting the standard is
    relatively low, it is not cause for concern at this stage. It can be justified
    in the Council’s elemental approach to investment which is more efficient
    than delivering ‘complete’ home improvements. Over time the rate of
    overall improvement is expected to align to a 100% achievement of the
    SHQS but this may not be evident for a number of years.
     Elemental Improvement

3.6 Progress in meeting the standard is most evident through examination of
    the individual elements within the five main quality criteria. Table 2
      shows the total number of elements currently failing, and also projected
      to fail by 2015, under each criterion. From a baseline of 278,436
      elements failing in 2004/05, three years of investment has reduced this
      figure to 175,289 elements failing, a 37.0% improvement over three
3.7 The most progress is shown within the ‘Serious Disrepair – Secondary’
    heading which has seen an improvement of 47.3% in projected failures,
    over three years. This is most significant because of the number of
    failing elements that have been addressed.
3.8 It should be noted that the increases in failures within the ‘Tolerable
    Standard’ heading are not cause for particular concern as they relate to
    small numbers of properties. The ‘Tolerable Standard’ items reflect
    disrepair that is being corrected through improvements delivered under
    the other criteria headings.
              Table 2: Year 3 Comparison of Elemental Failures to 2015 By Criteria
                                                2004/05        2007/08
                                                 Failing        Failing
                                               Elements       Elements       Percentage
                                              Projected To   Projected To   Improvement
       Criteria                                   2015           2015        (over 3yrs)
       Tolerable Standard                          104            139          -25.2%
       Serious Disrepair - Primary                  42             12           71.4%
       Serious Disrepair -
       Secondary                                 100,571       53,016          47.3%
       Energy Efficient                          47,165        29,709          37.0%
       Modern Facilities                         64,629        41,367          35.9%
       Health, Safe & Secure                     65,925        51,046          22.6%
       Total                                     278,436       175,289         37.0%

      Source: FPD Savills Stock Condition Survey 2008

     Cost of Delivering the SHQS

3.8 Work is on-going within the framework of the Housing Investment
    Partnership to update current unit costs based on actual Fife costs,
    benchmarked against national cost indicators. Work is also being taken
    to forward to quantify the efficiencies that will be delivered through the
    revised framework for investment from April 2008.

3.9 This work has not been concluded in time for the November Committee
    but will be presented to Members in January 2009 as part of the update
    of the Housing Revenue Account Business Plan and proposals for the
    Housing Investment Programme.

4.0   Consultation

4.1   There are choices to be made in the remainder of 2008/09 over future
      capital investment programmes which will inform further papers being
      brought forward to Committee. It is intended that consultation is carried
      out with tenants over the following areas:

            The approaches to investment to meet the SHQS over the next
             three years including potential ways to improve efficiency in delivery
             of the SHQS; and,
            Stakeholders’ priorities for investment over and above the
             requirements of the SHQS, for example in maintaining higher
             energy efficiency standards or considering other investment

5.0   Conclusion & Recommendations

5.1       At the end of year three there is evidence of good progress in achieving
          the SHQS within Fife Council housing by 2015. Connections between
          the Standard Delivery Plan and overall service efficiency are being
          made through the Housing Investment Partnership.

5.2       There are clear connections from the Standard Delivery Plan to the
          Council’s budgetary process and discussions around wider housing
          policy initiatives, and separate reports are being brought forward to
          Committee to explore these matters at the start of 2009. In terms of
          the Standard Delivery Plan Members are asked to;

          (1) Note the update position with regard to the implementation of the
              Standard Delivery Plan, particularly the 37% improvement in failing
              elements since March 2005;

          (2) Note the intention to consult with stakeholders over the options for
              more efficient delivery of the SHQS and wider investment priorities;

          (3) Note that further information on the costs of delivering the SHQS
              will be brought forward to Committee in January 2009 linking in
              targets for efficiency through the Housing Investment Partnership.

                                                                     Derek Muir
                                                                Head of Housing
                                                                Housing Service
                                                                Rothesay House

Appendix One – The Definition of the Scottish Housing Quality Standard and
                         Fife Housing Standard

Scottish         Criteria Definition               Criteria Elements                Additional Fife Housing
Housing                                                                               Standard Criteria

Compliant     The Tolerable Standard           Below Tolerable Standard               None
with      the
Free    From Primary          Building         Wall structures                        None
Serious       Elements                         Internal floor structures              None
Disrepair                                      Foundations                            None
                                               Roof Structure                         None
               Secondary           Building    Roof covering                          None
               Elements                        Chimney stacks                         None
                                               Flashings                              None
                                               Rainwater goods                        None
                                               External wall finishes                 None
                                               Access decks/balustrades               None
                                               Common access                          None
                                                stairs/landings, pathways
                                                within the curtilage of the
                                                dwelling                               None
                                               Individual dwelling
                                                balconies/verandas                     None
                                               Individual dwelling attached
                                                garages, internal stairs               None
                                               Damp Proof Course                      See measures under
                                               Windows/doors                           heading Energy Efficient
                                                                                       None
                                               Common windows/roof lights             None
                                               Underground drainage
Energy         Effective Insulation            Cavity      Insulation    where        None
Efficient                                       technically     feasible     and
                                               100mm loft insulation where            250 mm loft insulation
                                                appropriate                             where appropriate
                                               Insulation of hot water tanks          None
                                                and pipes (and cold water
                                                tanks as an ancillary measure)
               Efficient Heating               A full house central heating        See note (1)
                                                system that has an acceptable
                                                efficiency rating, or similarly
                                                efficient heating system that is
                                                developed in the future
               Additional       Energy         Additional energy efficiency           NHER 6.5 and above,
               Efficiency Measures              measures, where technically             NHER 7.0 preferred
                                                feasible,      necessary       to       where feasible
                                                achieving a minimum NHER               Double glazing installed
                                                rating of 5 or SAP rating of 50         as standard, target 95%
                                                                                        by 2015
Modern         Bathroom Condition              Bathroom amenities should              None
Facilities                                      include a WC bath or shower
And                                             and wash hand basin in good
Services                                        and usable condition
               Kitchen Condition               Kitchen fittings in good and           None
                                                usable condition

Scottish       Criteria Definition          Criteria Elements                    Additional Fife Housing
Housing                                                                            Standard Criteria

             Kitchen Facilities         Adequate kitchen storage to                Minimum      criteria   as
                                         current building standards                  Scottish Housing Quality
                                         where practical (1cubic m                   Standard.         Kitchens
                                         within or adjacent to the                   designed       on       an
                                         kitchen, space for a cooker                 individual   basis     and
                                         and related activity space in               higher standard to be
                                         front of it to allow safe use)              installed where possible
                                        Safe         kitchen        working        None
                                         arrangements,             including
                                         worktop space on at least one
                                         side of, and at least the same
                                         width as, the cooker                       None
                                        Sufficient power outlets (6 or
                                         more sockets)
Health, Safe Healthy                    Internal pipe work lead-free               None
and Secure                              Mechanical ventilation in the              Mechanical ventilation
                                         kitchen and bathroom where                  installed as standard.
                                         this is required to tackle                  Positive ventilation
                                         persistent         problems        of       system installed where
                                         condensation, dampness and                  required
                                         mould growth
                                        Adequate noise insulation                  None
                                         where there are problems with
                                         external noise e.g. from traffic
                                         or factories
             Safe                       A smoke detector present in                Smoke          detectors
                                         the home                                    currently installed in
                                        Safe electrical systems                     100% of stock (2)
                                        Safe gas and oil systems and               None
                                         appliances                                 None
                                        Common          stairwells,    lifts,
                                         lobbies, courts, laundry and               None
                                         drying areas, refuse chutes
                                         and      bin      stores,    where
                                         provided , in good and safe
                                         order                                      None
                                        Adequate lighting in common
                                         internal and external areas
                                         within the curtilage of the
             Secure                     Secure front and rear access               None
                                        Front door entry systems and               None
                                         secure       rear     access       to
                                         enclosed common areas

           Notes to Table: Definition of the Fife Housing Standard

(1) An inefficient central heating system is defined where practicable
as being:
 a solid fuel boiler with annual seasonal efficiency of less than 85%
 a natural gas boiler with annual seasonal efficiency of less than
 an oil-fired boiler with annual seasonal efficiency of less than 85%
 a gravity or semi-gravity heating system more than 20 years old
  An inefficient electric storage heating system is defined here as
 free-standing large volume storage heaters more than 12 years old
 free-standing compact storage heaters more than 12 years old
 electric fan-assisted storage warm air heating - policy to replace by
 electric wired underfloor heating, set in solid floors - policy to
replace by 2015
 electric ceiling heating more than 20 years old - policy to replace by
(2) All dwellings will have hard-wired smoke detectors by 2015.
Multiple smoke / heat detector systems installed as standard,
dependent on house size, design, etc. Carbon monoxide detectors
installed as standard to all houses where required

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