Agenda item

Update on Housing Delivery Partnership

Report of the Deputy Leader of the Council.

Minutes:

A report was presented to the Committee on the latest position of the proposed housing joint venture and the recommended next steps to stimulate housing delivery in the District.  At a meeting of the Committee on 7 January 2020 it was requested that an update on progress be presented in April 2020.  Due to the cancellation of that meeting and the Covid-19 Pandemic this had been delayed. 

 

The report laid out strategic context in relation to the South Kesteven District Council Corporate Plan, Covid-19 and housing delivery.  In addition to this, details were provided on consultations and overview and scrutiny processes, alongside feedback that had been received.

 

A number of options were set out in the report and it was recommended that the Council work proactively with the housing market, to pursue other approaches.  It would provide the opportunity to build positive relationships within the housing market, stimulating housing delivery, whilst avoiding the need to commit to significant long-term investments. There would be an opportunity to review that position once there was a greater degree of certainty around the economic recovery from Covid-19.  It was proposed that it be considered as part of the annual review of the Corporate Plan. 

 

Members considered the content and following discussion; the following points were raised:

 

·            Clarification on how the Council would continue to build properties, should a joint housing venture not be pursued.  It was also requested that an update on houses that have been built be provided to members.

 

Members were advised that properties that had been built by the Council were via the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and would not be affected by the venture not being pursued. The Chairman advised that the relevant Portfolio Holder would be able to update members on the current number of houses delivered through the HRA.

 

ACTION:

 

a.          The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning to update members on the current number of houses delivered through the HRA.

 

·            Concerns were raised regarding funding from Government District, would the proposed decision affect the funding

 

The Deputy Leader advised that there would be no effect on funding the Council would receive from central Government.

 

·            Why a joint venture was not considered the preferred method to build houses within the District

 

The Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council explained that the Council had put in place Gravitas Housing Ltd, which could be used to build within the private sector.  Additionally, the Council did not have access to land nor the funds in the current climate, to pursue what had previously been proposed.  The Council could achieve house building without the need to form the joint venture.

 

·            Were there any budgetary implications for not carrying on with the proposal

 

The Interim Head of Finance advised that there would be no effect to the budget, as it was not in relation to HRA social housing. The proposals were for private sector housing, the two ambitions had no relation.

 

Following the discussion, the Committee agreed to note the recommendations presented within the report. 

 

DECISIONS:

 

1.          That the Committee noted the contents of this report and that a housing partnership is not pursued at this time, but that the development of a partnership is considered in the future as part of the Council’s annual review process

 

2.          That the Committee notes that the Council intends to build on the positive relationships developed with partners in the housing market to stimulate ongoing delivery in South Kesteven

 

 

Supporting documents: