Apr 6th 2018, 14:36
Blog 6th April 2018
In this week’s blog, I refer to: Funding Supported Housing; Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government; Department for Work & Pensions; National Planning Policy Framework; South Norfolk District Council; Impact Housing Association; the Riverside Group; the National Housing Federation and Local Housing Companies.
Last October the government launched a consultation on the future funding of supported housing. In it they proposed a new sheltered housing rent and budgets administered by local authorities to fund short-term supported housing. This week the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work & Pensions published a summary of the responses that they have received.
The sheltered and extra care consultation received 304 responses. The main points raised by respondents were:
The short-term supported accommodation consultation received 434 responses. The main points raised by respondents were:
Last week I provided in-house training in ‘funding supported housing’ for staff of a local authority in Northwest England. Attendees said that the information provided was relevant and the delivery was good. They described the session as thorough, useful, interesting, comprehensive and valuable. Specific comments received included:
The Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government, launched its consultation on the National Planning Policy Framework last month. I have been contacted by Keith Mitchell, who is the Housing Enabling & Strategy Officer at South Norfolk District Council, who writes as follows:
“As I interpret the draft wording, Annex 2, Glossary, Affordable Housing, para d (page 62) says that shared ownership will no longer be affordable in perpetuity or have a recycling obligation unless there is public grant funding. As there is no public subsidy is S106 homes, the subsidy value provided through the S106 agreement will be lost when staircasing occurs. Correct? If so, a clear matter for consultees to raise.”
I have written previously in this blog about the planned takeover of Impact Housing Association by the Riverside Group. I am a former Chair of the Association and continue to be a shareholding member.
Impact Housing Association are now out for consultation with tenants. Tenants have all been sent a leaflet entitled: ‘Growing together – A Partnership to Deliver Improvement through Action’ and a covering letter.
The covering letter includes the following statement:
“Your landlord and the services you receive will not change”
I find this statement surprising for two reasons:
The leaflet states that Riverside will:
The leaflet seems rather generalised and vague to me. Furthermore, I have reservations about some of the information provided and would like to give one example. The leaflet states that:
“Riverside will protect Impact’s social enterprises and community projects (such as the Impact Furniture Service and the Oval) for a minimum of three years.”
My reservations about this statement are that:
(Note: The Oval is a community centre on the Salterbeck estate in Workington and NGage are the young people’s services at Salterbeck)
Local housing companies are independent arms-length commercial organisations wholly or partly owned by councils. They can develop, buy and manage properties within and outside of a local authority area. The homes they provide sit outside of the local government housing financing system and are not subject to the Housing Act and most of the social / affordable housing regulations. Over the past few years the number of companies has increased among councils across the whole of England. It is estimated that there are over 150 local authorities that have set up local authority housing companies However, they are not the only housing delivery vehicles that are available to Councils and this is still an emerging area in terms of policy and best practice.
I am currently putting together our seminar on ‘Local Housing Companies and Development’ that will be held in London on 8th May 2018. This seminar will explain and examine why and how local authorities are setting up local housing companies and other delivery vehicles. It is proving popular, but we still have a few places available.
Our next seminars will be on: