Agenda Item No. 7(a)

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

COUNCIL MEETING: 25 APRIL 2018

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET:  26 MARCH 2018

 

 

C271      REVISED PRIVATE SECTOR HOUSING LOANS (RP) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - HOMES AND SAFE COMMUNITIES) -

 

Approval was sought to amend the Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy (2014) to reflect new arrangements introduced by Welsh Government on loan products.

 

Since 2012 the Welsh Government had provided the Council with a number of capital funding awards.  These enabled the Council to provide loans to private sector property owners to return empty properties back into use and to improve owner occupied dwellings.  Each of these funding awards had its own terms and conditions. On 23 March, 2015 Cabinet resolved, minute C2713 refers, to amend the Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy 2014 to include the provision of Housing Improvement Loans as detailed in Appendix 1 attached to the report. On 12 February, 2018 the Welsh Government amalgamated the funding awards into one award letter, which was attached at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

The funding letter issued by Welsh Government amended some of the terms and conditions in relation to the loan criteria for individual loans offered to property owners. As a consequence, to retain the capital funding and continue to offer the loans to property owners, the Council had to amend its Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy 2014 to reflect these changes. The amended section 7.4.2 of the Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy 2014 was attached at Appendix 3 to the report.

 

The several loans that were offered had now been streamlined into two products, an Owner Occupier Loan and a Landlord Loan. Both still dealt with empty properties.  This streamlining made it easier for the public to understand, and standardised the administration of the loans.  The funding letter issued by Welsh Government on 12 February, 2018 stated that details of the revised loan scheme had to be made available to the public by 30 June, 2018 at the latest.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T section 7.4.2 and section 7.5.5 of the Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy 2014 be amended as detailed in Appendix 3 attached to the report.

 

(2)       T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Service for Regeneration and Planning, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning, to adopt a suitable delivery option to administer the Owner Occupier Repayable Financial Assistance Loan product and amend the Private Sector Housing Renewal Policy 2014 as may be necessary going forward.

 

(3)       T H A T the use of article 14.14.2 (ii) of the Council’s constitution (urgent decision procedure) be authorised in respect of resolutions 1 and 2, above.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To enable the Council to offer Private Sector Housing Loans in line with the revised funding award from Welsh Government.

 

(2)       To enable officers to consider and appraise the delivery options to administer the Owner Occupier Repayable Financial Assistance Loan product.

 

(3)       To enable the Council to implement the changes immediately to increase take up of the loan products to ensure Council performance was improved, as measured through National Performance Indicators, and that Welsh Government's deadline to commit the budget of £871,813.49 was achieved by 31 March, 2019.