Agenda Item No. 9(d)
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
COUNCIL MEETING: 29 APRIL 2015
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 23 MARCH 2015
C2713 HOME IMPROVEMENT LOAN FUNDING (HBMCS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION) -
Cabinet was asked to consider a repayable funding opportunity from Welsh Government that would enable the Vale of Glamorgan Council to offer loans to repair private sector housing.
On 29 January, 2015, Welsh Government announced a £10 million Home Improvement Loan Scheme. This Scheme constituted repayable funding, to enable local authorities to develop loan schemes to support private sector homeowners improve poor quality housing.
The funding from Welsh Government to the Vale of Glamorgan Council for a Home Improvement Loan fund amounted to £844,229, to be claimed in full by 31 March, 2016. This funding must be repaid to the Welsh Government by 31 March, 2030. Welsh Government would not charge interest on the repayable Loan Fund.
The scheme was not a statutory duty for the Council but the funding would support the Council's Empty Property Strategy, Private Sector Housing Renewal Strategy and Housing Improvement programmes, both through its Regeneration and Welsh Housing Quality Programmes. Unlike the recent funding from Welsh Government for houses into homes loans, Welsh Government was not specifying the terms and conditions of the loan products.
To enable the Council to meet its strategic housing need and ensure that any products offered were competitive with high street lenders the following products would be offered.
- Home Repair Loan - A loan targeted to owner occupiers to assist in essential repairs.
- Landlord Loan - A loan for landlords who would offer accommodation to support the Council meet its homelessness responsibilities.
- Leaseholder Loan - A loan for leaseholders within Council owned blocks of flats to assist in meeting the cost of essential repairs or upgrading the buildings to achieve better energy efficiency.
- Empty Property Loan - A loan targeted to owners of empty properties who wished to occupy the empty property following renovation, to assist in basic renovations.
To ensure the funding was secured, the loan would need to be registered with the Land Registry as a charge against the property. All loans offered to private sector owners must be repaid in full. The loan would be interest free but the local authority would charge an administration fee of 15% on each loan awarded, to cover the administration cost of the scheme. To enable the Council to offer the above loan products, the terms and conditions of this financial assistance must be detailed within the Council's Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy 2014. Appendix 1 attached to the report detailed the amendment to the Policy.
At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety highlighted Paragraph 2 of the report, noting that the £10 million funding from Welsh Government was being shared across the whole of Wales.
This was a matter for Executive decision
(2) T H A T the use of article 13.09 of the Council’s constitution (urgent decision procedure) be authorised to enable the Council to draw down home improvement load funding by the 31 March, 2015.
Reasons for decisions
(2&3) To enable officers to consider and appraise the delivery options available to administer a loan scheme within the revenue funding available.