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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 19th January 2012

 

Report of the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Service

 

Welsh Housing Quality Standard Action Plan (Version 15) Housing Revenue Account Asset Management Strategy

Purpose of the Report

To inform Members of the updated Action Plan in relation to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS).

Recommendation

1.             THAT the report be noted.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.             To inform Members of the updated Action Plan for the Council to achieve the Welsh Housing Quality Standard and maintain it.

Background

The updated Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) Action Plan is attached at Appendix A and is based on the developing Housing Asset Management Strategy.

The WHQS Action Plan identifies the improvement outputs, resources, priority and progress required and each action is rated on progress with symbols denoting whether they are on target, some concerns or serious concerns that they will be achieved. The Action Plan is the main WHQS project monitoring document and is largely self explanatory.

Substantial change is underway to deliver a planned approach within the context of a sound Housing Asset Management Strategy and this change is reflected in the WHQS Action Plan.

5.             Housing Services, Building Services and Property Services all play a role in housing asset management but in the past this has been undertaken without a comprehensive asset management approach.

6.             This has resulted in a housing maintenance service which is reactive and also meant the developing Housing Asset Management Strategy starting from a fairly low position. However, a more planned approach is being developed.

7.             The updated Housing Business Plan was approved by Cabinet on 16th November 2011 for submission to the Welsh Government.

Relevant Issues and Options

8.             The Business Plan is modeled on the Council delivering a significant improvement Programme and meeting the basic requirements of the Welsh Housing Quality Standard by April 2017.

9.             This level of investment where necessary will provide internal improvements which will provide tenants with modern facilities such as a good standard of kitchens and bathrooms; modern heating systems; up to date wiring along with ensuring that the external structures are in a good condition and wind and waterproof.

10.        There is £50,000 per annum for estate Improvements such as community safety initiatives such as lighting, fencing or landscaping (from years 2 to 6).

11.        However, some of the Council housing stock is not sustainable and cannot be improved to a reasonable standard within the finances available to the Council and decisions will need to be made at a later date as to the best way forward for these homes.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.        All housing Investment must be within the financial constraints of the Housing Business Plan.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.        None.

Crime and Disorder Implications

14.        Achieving the Welsh Housing Quality Standard could help address Crime and disorder issues and components will be designed to meet Secure by Design Standards wherever practical.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15.        WHQS and the Asset management strategy will incorporate improvements to equal opportunities.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.        Satisfying WHQS can improve the housing stock therefore contributing to the health, wellbeing and safety of tenants and other residents.

Policy Framework and Budget

17.        This report is to inform Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection).

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

18.        This report is for the consideration of Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection).

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

19.        Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection).

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Rob Lucas – Asset Manager

Officers Consulted

Tony Jaques - Head of Housing

Mike Ingram – OM Housing

Jane Wade – OM Property Services

Steven Morris – Head of Building and Vehicle Services

Simon Davies – Project Manager

Responsible Officer:

Peter Evans – Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing Service

 

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