Agenda item

Council Housing Policy Update Report

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

KEY DECISION

 

That the Executive:

 

a)     Approved the Tenancy and Estate Management Policy at Appendix A to the report

 

b)     Approved the Lettable Standard and Tenant Involvement Plan at Appendix B to the report

 

c)      Approved the Tenant Involvement Plan at Appendix C to the report

 

d)     Approved the creation of a Tenancy Advisory Panel as part of the Tenant Involvement Plan and delegates authority to the Executive Member for Housing and Communities in consultation with the Assistant Director of Housing and Communities to agree Terms of Reference.

 

e)     Delegated authority to the Executive Member for Housing and Communities, in liaison with the Executive Director, Adults, Communities and Wellbeing to take any further decisions and/or actions required to implement these policy documents. This will include changing some of the photographs within both the Lettable Standard and the Tenant Involvement Plan and making minor amendments.

 

 

Reasons for Recommendations: -

 

·           Offer one consistent approach to the tenancy and estate management part of the tenancy and landlord services.

 

·           Comply with regulation that requires all social housing providers to incorporate tenant involvement into their service.

 

·           Offer one consistent standard for letting council owned homes throughout the North Northamptonshire area.

 

Alternative Options Considered: -

 

·         The only other option is to do nothing or to delay the harmonisation of working practices across the two teams.

 

·         This is not an option that can continue to be maintained effectively over time. The best option is to harmonise working practices as soon as possible to ensure consistency of service, reduce the risk of challenge, and most importantly make improvements to the service.

 

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Cllr Lyn Buckingham to the meeting to address Executive. Cllr Buckingham welcomed both the Lettable Standard Policy and Tenant Involvement Plan, but raised concerns with regard to the Tenancy and Estate Management Policy. Cllr Buckingham considered that this policy was not fit for purpose and lacked detail regarding standards expected of estates or what the Council expected from its tenants and residents.

 

The Chair thanked Cllr Buckingham for her comments, before Cllr Andy Mercer, Executive Member for Housing & Communities introduced a report that sought approval for a harmonised Tenancy and Estate Management Policy, a new Lettable Standard and a new Tenant Involvement Plan.

 

Cllr Mercer stated that the Lettable Standard provided a clear acceptable standard that would be applied to all Council-owned properties prior to letting. The Tenancy and Estate Management Policy would provide clarity as to how the Council managed tenancies to meet current legislation and its statutory obligations as a landlord, with the approach taken to maintaining well-managed neighbourhoods forming the Estate Management element.

 

Cllr Helen Harrison noted that a number of the areas mentioned by Cllr Buckingham as not being included within the Tenancy and Estate Management Policy were covered within the Tenant Involvement Plan. It was also noted that the aforementioned policy was a living document and would be regularly revised to keep it in line with government legislation and the Council’s aspirations.

 

Cllr Mercer advised the meeting that further housing-related policies would be brought to the Executive in future as the harmonisation process continued.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

KEY DECISION

 

That the Executive:

 

a)     Approved the Tenancy and Estate Management Policy at Appendix A to the report

 

b)     Approved the Lettable Standard and Tenant Involvement Plan at Appendix B to the report

 

c)      Approved the Tenant Involvement Plan at Appendix C to the report

 

d)     Approved the creation of a Tenancy Advisory Panel as part of the Tenant Involvement Plan and delegates authority to the Executive Member for Housing and Communities in consultation with the Assistant Director of Housing and Communities to agree Terms of Reference.

 

e)     Delegated authority to the Executive Member for Housing and Communities, in liaison with the Executive Director, Adults, Communities and Wellbeing to take any further decisions and/or actions required to implement these policy documents. This will include changing some of the photographs within both the Lettable Standard and the Tenant Involvement Plan and making minor amendments.

 

 

Reasons for Recommendations: -

 

·           Offer one consistent approach to the tenancy and estate management part of the tenancy and landlord services.

 

·           Comply with regulation that requires all social housing providers to incorporate tenant involvement into their service.

 

·           Offer one consistent standard for letting council owned homes throughout the North Northamptonshire area.

 

Alternative Options Considered: -

 

·         The only other option is to do nothing or to delay the harmonisation of working practices across the two teams.

 

·         This is not an option that can continue to be maintained effectively over time. The best option is to harmonise working practices as soon as possible to ensure consistency of service, reduce the risk of challenge, and most importantly make improvements to the service.

 

Supporting documents: