Agenda Item No. 10(b)
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
COUNCIL MEETING: 4 MARCH 2015
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 26 JANUARY 2015
C2621 LOCAL HOUSING STRATEGY 2015 - 2020 (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -
Approval was sought for the adoption of the Local Housing Strategy 2015-2020.
The Council had a statutory role to play in the functioning of the housing market, which included the requirement for local authorities to produce local housing strategies as was set out in Section 87 - Local Government Act 2003.
The intention was for local authorities to play a lead role in developing an approach to housing across all tenures and ensured the delivery of more integrated housing and related services to meet local need. The strategic housing function incorporated an enabling role; the local authority worked in partnership with other public, private and third sector organisations, delivering suitable housing and developed innovative solutions addressing local housing needs.
In February 2014 the Council hosted a Local Housing Strategy Evidence Gathering Day which included presentations, workshops and consultation exercises focusing on a number of housing topics. The views of partner organisations, representatives from the public, private and third sectors, elected members and Council departments was used to inform the development of the Local Housing Strategy. A summary of the Evidence Gathering Day was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.
The Local Housing Strategy set out the approach that was taken to meet the legislative requirements of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 (Cabinet Minute C2350). The legislation governing different aspects of the Act were rolled out over a number of years. The Local Housing Strategy provided a locally agreed, long term vision for housing; it provided a statement of local strategic housing-related objectives and target outcomes. The strategy covered a period of five years; however the vision was viewed over a longer period of time within the context of the Community Strategy.
The proposed Local Housing Strategy 2015-20, as attached at Appendix 2 to the report, set out the vision for housing in the Vale of Glamorgan, in the following statement:
"All residents in the Vale of Glamorgan have access to good quality, suitable, housing and are able to live happily and independently in vibrant, sustainable communities".
In order to achieve the vision for housing in the Vale, four key aims were identified below, each of which was supported by a number of objectives which formed the basis of the actions identified in the Action Plan:
- Aim 1: Provided more homes and more choice; ensuring that all residents had access to suitable and affordable accommodation.
- Aim 2: Improved homes and communities; ensured housing was maintained and fit for purpose, increased the supply of good quality, energy efficient homes in vibrant and sustainable communities.
- Aim 3: Provided better housing advice and support; ensured that residents had access to the housing and services they needed to live independently and plan their housing futures.
- Aim 4: Promoted equality of access to housing and housing services.
In July 2014 Cabinet agreed that the draft Local Housing Strategy could be made available for public consultation (Cabinet Minute C2398). The consultation process began on 1 September, 2014 for 4 weeks.
70 consultation responses were received, a summary of which was attached at Appendix 3 to the report. As a result of the consultation, changes had been made to the Strategy. The most notable changes made were summarised below:
- Information related to Technical Advice Notes and Supplementary Planning Guidance included in relation to Planning Policy Wales and local planning policy.
- The inclusion of relevant Health policy and frameworks.
- Planned and agreed legislative changes had been updated to reflect their most up-to-date position in the National Assembly's legislative process.
- Key partnerships diagram amended to show the new Local Service Board structure.
- Information updated following the change in Welsh Government Minister with responsibility for housing.
- Objective: Increase Housing Supply included clarity around opportunities for co-operative and self-build housing.
- Objective: Develop Appropriate Housing to Meet Specific Needs with the Community had the most recent and agreed priorities for the Supporting People Programme.
- Under Aim 2: Improve Homes and Communities, 'Enable Access to Repairs, Improvements and Housing Adaptations' had been separated into a stand-alone objective rather than being within the objective to Improve the Quality of Private Sector Housing. Within this objective the information relating to repairs, improvements and adaptations had been updated and strengthened.
The draft Local Housing Strategy was to apply to 2014-19, however due to time taken to develop, consult on and adopt the Strategy, it was changed to cover 2015-2020.
At the meeting the Leader commented that paragraph 36 of the report would need to be amended in light of the revised recommendation 2. Currently it read that 'This was a matter for Executive decision' whereas, it was verbally amended to read 'This is a matter for Full Council', as the report dealt with a council strategy that required Full Council approval.
This was a matter for Executive and Council decision
(2) T H A T the Local Housing Strategy 2015-2020, as attached at Appendix 2 to the report, be agreed and forwarded to Full Council for approval.
Reasons for decisions
(2) To enable the Council to meet the requirement for each Local Authority to adopt a Local Housing Strategy as set out in Section 87 of the Local Government Act 2003.